Hundreds of airport workers have united for a 24-hour strike against Australian airline Jetstar, for better wages and more hours.
Workers first held strikes in December last year and will return to the tactic on Wednesday, after the Transport Workers Union accused the budget airline of proposing an agreement “designed to keep Jetstar workers impoverished”.
Almost 50 domestic Jetstar flights will be cancelled over the 24-hour period, when baggage handlers and ground crew strike across the country.
The Transport Workers’ Union says more than 250 workers will walk off the job for the day at Sydney, Melbourne, Avalon, Brisbane, Cairns and Adelaide airports. International flights to or from Australia will not be affected as a result of the union’s planned action.
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A Jetstar spokesperson told news.com.au that all customers impacted by the cancellations on Wednesday had been contacted and accommodated.
“To minimise the impact of the TWU’s stop-work action, we have developed a contingency plan that protects our customers’ travel, with most customers on impacted flights set to travel within a few hours of their original departure time and all customers getting to their destinations same day,” the statement read.
“To achieve this we have consolidated some services and moved other customers to Qantas flights where necessary. We contacted affected customers over the weekend to advise them of their new flight details and we thank them for their flexibility.”
As a result, the airline doesn’t expect any “chaos” at airports across the country, expecting operations to be as normal.
Protests will take place at airports around the country from 8.30am in Sydney, 10am in Melbourne and 9am in Brisbane, Cairns and Adelaide.
RELATED: Jetstar ground crew prepare for 24-hour strike around Australia
The aviation company allegedly broke off talks with its workers on February 10, with a final offer given without any opportunity for negotiations.
TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said the union is “ready to talk whenever the company is”.
“The fact is these workers have no choice but to take strike action since they are desperate for more hours and are seeing their families struggle,” Mr Kaine told AAP on Tuesday.
The union has accused the airline of proposing an agreement “designed to keep Jetstar workers impoverished” but Jetstar chief executive Gareth Evans criticised the TWU for deciding to “disrupt tourism and aviation at a time when the tourism industry and the economy as a whole – small business, tourism-related businesses, small towns – are doing it very, very tough”.
– with AAP