Union call off QF strikes flights still cancelled

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Qantas said the Transport Workers Union’s (TWU) announcement yesterday to cancel strikes planned for today is too little too late with the carrier already publishing a new schedule that will cause disruptions for up to 5,700 passengers.The carrier said it was forced to cancel up to 17 flights and delays 29 others on the last day of the school holidays, one of the busiest days of the year because of work stoppages originally organized to run for two hours from 4.00pm this afternoon.Not impressed with the last minute decision, Qantas Group Executive government and corporate affairs Olivia Wirth said the union was playing “games”, knowing that it is too late for the carrier to re-instate cancelled services.“You can’t just turn an airline on and off,” Ms Wirth said.“The Transport Workers Union has waited until less than 24 hours before the planned strike to call it off so that passengers are still disrupted, the Qantas business been damaged but their members don’t lose any money from going on strike.Ms Wirth thanked members who has put pressure on the union to cancel the strikes and hopes the decision is a signal to the end of strikes.With negotations between the two parties has now exceeded 30 weeks, TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon said he is seeking “serious engagement” from the carrier over job security and pay.“Given the old agreement expired in July and was developed under the WorkChoices regime, Qantas should clearly spell out to its workforce whether they will have a job for the next couple of years,” Mr Sheldon said.The next scheduled meeting between the two parties is on 12 October, however the union added that if negotations are not taken “seriously” by Qantas then it would organize a four-hour strike on 13 October.Although TWU members will not lower their tools today, the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) said they are still going ahead with one-hour stoppages, which will affect operations at Melbourne Airport later this afternoon.While the carrier struggles in negotiations with ALAEA and TWU, yesterday Qantas announced it had reached a pay agreement with the Flight Attendants Association of Australia (FAAA) the domestic and regional division.Up to 2150 cabin crew will vote over the next three weeks on the new three year pay agreement which includes, three percent increase over the period, $500 lump sum payment each year, Customer Service Manager will receive additional increment and more flexibility in rostering.“Our cabin crew play a very important role in providing safety and customer service to our passengers during every single flight,” Qantas Group Executive operations Lyell Strambi said.“We are pleased that we have been able to negotiate a new agreement for our cabin crew which will provide improved pay and conditions and also provide the airline with greater flexibility.”Voting opens on the 28 October and will close on the 18 November.last_img

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