By Andrew Gibson
Qantas pilots are joining engineers in strike action. This is the first time that the company’s pilots have taken industrial action since 1966 and it was not a decision that they made lightly. However the Australian and International Pilots Association have asked permission to ballot members. It is likely that they will be voting for work-to-rule as well as two days of work stoppage, it may also include overtime bans and a higher duties ban.
The strikes have come about because of concerns about job security and pay. The union does not want to disrupt things too much, but they feel they have no other choice as their concerns are not being listened to. They have said it is a last resort. They have been negotiating for a whole year on issues such as wage increases. Qantas has expressed their disappointment with regards to the proposed action saying that negotiations are the answer, rather than striking.
This could make things difficult for Australian travellers. The strike, if it does go ahead, is likely to happen within the next two or three weeks and so anyone travelling on Qantas around that time will need to expect delays and cancellations. It will be a good idea to keep well informed of what is going on and check the airlines websites for any last minute changes to flights. 1700 pilots will be balloted over the next few weeks in order to find out whether they agree with the proposals put forward by the union and only when this is complete will their action be confirmed.