Airlines, especially Qantas, may experience significant delays as a result of planned strikes by the employees who refuel airplanes at Melbourne Airport (MEL).
Workers at Rivet, which provides gasoline for Qantas domestic, international, and QLink, have informed managers that they will go on a 24-hour strike on March 8, 2023.
The workers are dissatisfied with the rise in duties and responsibilities because pay and working conditions have not kept up.
CTA Asia Pacific The largest airline client of Rivet in March 2023 will be Qantas, which will account for almost 60% of Rivet’s refueling business.
Even still, the employees who refuel Qantas jets haven’t seen a salary boost in almost three years, despite the company generating half-year profits.
The workers and Rivet have been in negotiations for a year now, but no agreement has been reached.
“For a year, Rivet refuellers have tried to reach a fair agreement but have instead been faced with base wage freezes which impact their pay now and long into the future, said the Transport Workers Union (TWU) assistant branch secretary Mem Suleyman. “In the current cost-of-living crisis it is unacceptable to expect workers to pick up extra responsibilities and work harder, faster and longer to make ends meet.
Suleyman added: “These are workers in one of the most dangerous jobs in the airport, yet they are being pushed to the limit while pay and conditions fail to attract more workers to share the load.”
The TWU claims that the only option left to the workforce is to go on strike.
“Although protected industrial action is always a last resort, these workers know it is the only option left to bring the company to a fair agreement,” explained Suleyman. “Rebuilding the aviation industry is going to require more investment in good, secure jobs, not executive bonuses or shareholder dividends at an airline wielding huge commercial power across our airports.”
“Once we have more details from Rivet about the impact of the planned strike by their workers, we can put in place contingencies such as carrying additional fuel from other airports to minimise impacts to our customers,” the company said.
Beginning at 4:00 am on March 8, a 24-hour strike at Melbourne Airport will primarily affect Qantas as well as the freight companies Australia Air Express and DHL and some international carriers.