Salem Radio Network News Saturday, December 9, 2023


Qantas charter unit’s pilots vote in favour of protected industrial action

(Reuters) -Pilots at Network Aviation, a subsidiary of Qantas Airways, voted in favour of taking protected industrial actions that might potentially include bans on flying, the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) said on Tuesday.

Three pilot groups, including pilots from aircraft charter company Network Aviation, have been negotiating with Qantas management over wage policy revisions.

More than 99.5% of AFAP pilot members at Network Aviation voted in a ballot late Monday to approve a number of legally protected industrial actions that include work bans and potential stoppages.

Discussions are currently underway over a range of actions while the pilots are set to meet on Wednesday, the AFAP told Reuters in a statement.

“No action has yet been scheduled,” the AFAP told Reuters, adding that the notice would need to be given to Network Aviation’s management in advance of taking any particular action.

The Network Aviation pilot group has been in talks with the flag carrier to replace the existing enterprise agreement which was signed in 2016 and expired on Oct. 31, 2020.

A spokesperson for QantasLink, an airline brand of Qantas, termed the step towards industrial action by the AFAP as “disappointing”.

“We’re offering our pilots significant pay rises and more guaranteed days off each roster period,” the spokesperson said.

“We have already reached in-principle agreement with the two other unions representing Network Aviation pilots, and we’re continuing to negotiate in good faith to secure new agreements with our turboprop pilots.”

There are contingency plans in place to minimise disruptions to customers if the union proceeds with the industrial action, the spokesperson told Reuters.

The AFAP also flagged the potential industrial action might impact certain charter flight operations to large mines and oil gas projects in Western Australia.

(Reporting by Rishav Chatterjee and Lewis Jackson; Additional reporting by Aishwarya Nair; Editing by Rashmi Aich)


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