Chaos coming to Australian airports

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has declared war on Australian airports and has warned of industrial chaos caused by intended strikes over the next year.

Enterprise agreements for 38,000 workers across the aviation and road transport sectors are coming to an end in 2020. The TWU has vowed to use strikes across all major airports as leverage to gain better and safer working conditions for aviation workers.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said that for the next year the group would launch “the most concerted push in our union’s history to bolster our bargaining power and put safety and fairness at the heart of our industry”.

“Workers will unite right across the airports and road transport industries,” he said.

“Airport workers are struggling on part-time work, some on as few as 15 hours a week, and appalling conditions, which see workers forced to sleep at the airports between gruelling split shifts. These conditions impact on safety and security because of the high turnover rate and chronic fatigue.

“Transport workers will demand sector-wide safe and fair outcomes from wealthy companies at the top of the transport supply chain, the point of economic power. We will demand the lifting of standards. We will demand secure work. And, yes, we will strike to achieve our aims.”

According to the TWU, Australia’s four major airports, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, made over $2.2 billion in profit last year.

“Airport workers have come together and are determined to make their jobs better. We want an end to the situation where groups of workers at every part of the airport, whether on the tarmac or on aircraft, are working on vastly different rates and conditions. We want decent jobs, which means we don’t have to constantly struggle,” said an airport worker attending a protest at Cairns airport.

Were you aware that aviation workers were treated so poorly?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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