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Jetstar strike: Union says workers are in ‘mortal danger’

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The chaos will continue this week at airports around the country as Jetstar staff plan for further strikes on Thursday.

Over 100 Jetstar flights were cancelled over the weekend, as pilots, baggage handlers and ground staff stopped work at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns and Adelaide airports.

Trade Workers’ Union (TWU) National Secretary Michael Kaine says Jetstar’s refusal to “come to the table” has left employees with no choice but to strike again on Thursday morning and again in the afternoon. Travellers are being urged to check the Jetstar website for their flight status.

Workers are calling for increased pay, minimum 30-hour working weeks, and better safety conditions.

“SafeWork NSW has said there are too few crew servicing the aircraft, and that leads these workers to be in mortal danger.”

Mr Kaine expressed his regret at the inconvenient timing of the industrial action but maintains the workers’ claims are “moderate”.

“It’s in the hands of Jetstar now. They can pick up the phone right now… but they seem to be more interested in slagging off their workforce, and that’s just not constructive.”

Jetstar has described the strikes as “unjustifiable” and “cynically timed to hurt travellers at the busiest time of the year”.

Mark Levy is urging the company and the union to get on with discussions instead of disrupting customers.

“They’ve got five days. Get it done by Friday so people aren’t going to be stranded again this weekend, and they’re not going to be stranded at Christmas.”

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The airline has announced it will be cancelling 10 per cent of all January flights.

Executive Director of the Australian Federation of Air Pilots Simon Lutton assured holidaymakers no action will be taken between December 21 and January 3.

Mr Lutton also tells Luke Grant he ‘sincerely hopes’ no further strikes will be necessary in the new year.

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview


Image: Getty/Sam Mooy

Mark Levy