A Heap of Flights Will be Cancelled This Weekend Due to an Industrial Strike
Jetstar pilots, baggage handlers and ground crew will take industrial action over three days.
Flying interstate can be frustrating at the best of times — especially during peak periods — but you can expect more than a few cancellations and delays this weekend as some Jetstar employees prepare to strike over three days, on Friday, December 13 until Sunday, December 15.
Last week, both the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) and the Transport Workers' Union (TWU) voted to proceed with industrial action in response to ongoing failed negotiations with the airline. The TWU has announced that it will hold a series of two-hour work stoppages on the Friday, while the AFAP will hold two four-hour stoppages — one on Saturday, and one on Sunday.
In a statement released today, Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans said that, because of the action, Jetstar will cancel 44 flights on Saturday and another 46 on Sunday — which is 90 of an estimated 740 across the weekend.
If you're flying with Jetstar on these days and your flight is affected, you've probably been sent your new flight details. Jetstar has re-timed flights and transferred some passengers to Qantas flights to avoid too much chaos, but there's likely to be delays to across Sydney, Melbourne, Avalon, Brisbane, Cairns and Adelaide airports.
The TWU is at loggerheads with Jetstar after failed negotiations with the airline that sought to secure a number of demands for employees – like more rest breaks, annual wage increases of four percent and a guaranteed 30 hours of work a week. TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said that "disappointingly, Jetstar have rejected the vast majority of the workers' demands outright".
Jetstar, however, says the impact of the TWU action is likely to be "minimal" as it would involve "less than half" of its regular ground staff. In a statement released last week, Evans said that the airline has offered a three percent annual wage increase to the union.
The AFAP strikes are set to be more disruptive — as they will leave aircraft without anyone to actually fly them. However, despite earlier reports that the action could impact flights over the upcoming busy Christmas period, the union has said that it won't strike between Saturday, December 21 and Friday, January 3.
The strikes will take place this weekend, December 13–15. If your flight has been cancelled or changed, Jetstar will contact you directly. For any further flight status updates, check the Jetstar website.
Published on December 11, 2019 by Lauren Vadnjal