Salary negotiations: Qantas pilots on strike for two days

Avatar photo

The Australian Pilots Federation (AFAP) announced Friday that it had informed a unit of Qantas Airways in the state of Western Australia (WA) that its members would stop working from Wednesday to Thursday next week in a bid to negotiate wages.

Network Aviation pilots will stop working Wednesday and Thursday after the company and union members failed to reach an agreement on wages and the working conditions pilots. AFAP negotiates with management a review of the salary policy. AFAP members represent more than 90% of the pool of pilots employed by Qantas’ Network Aviation unit.

The union says its members had no other choice after a long-term fight. “It is disappointing that over the past four weeks there has been no indication that Qantas management may change its position to bring the wages and working conditions of its pilots based in the state of Western Australia in line with those of other Qantas group pilots », said Chris Aikens, executive director of AFAP. Qantas is currently trying to explore available avenues to reach a deal that would benefit its pilots and meet the needs of the business, he added. Qantas management judges decision “unreasonable”. “This latest strike action by the pilots’ union constitutes an unreasonable escalation of the conflict and comes just days after they further increased their demands,” she declared. “After initially demanding 50% wage increases, the union is now demanding even more benefits. » Network Aviation pilots went on strike in early October because the union called wages and working conditions substandard.

Remember that management is also facing a crisis of mistrust at the end of September from the Australian and International Pilots Association union (AIPA). The latter notably called for the resignation of the president of the airline in a damning letter which sets out a plethora of grievances. Qantas has come under scrutiny after losing a legal battle with a union over the dismissal of 1700 employeesl during the Covid pandemic to replace them with outsourced staff in 2020. She was also being pursued separately by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for the alleged advertising and sale of plane tickets for the airline. Among other issues, Qantas management is suspected of having put pressure on the Canberra government to prevent Qatar Airways to offer more flights to Australia. Qantas also revealed that it paid Alan Joyce, its former CEO who took early retirement at the start of September, an annual remuneration of A$21.4 million (US$13.8 million) for financial year 2023, a tenfold increase compared to the previous year.

John Walker Avatar