Thousands of Workers to Strike at Airports and Seaports Across Australia on Monday
PHOTO: Sydney Airport. (courtesy of Thinkstock)
A pay dispute between the Australian government and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as well as the Department of Agriculture has come to a head. Thousands of workers in those two government agencies plan to strike Monday at international airports and seaports across Australia during the busiest hours, The Australian reported.
The employees of are members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), a group totaling 55,000 members.
The union stated via The Australian that they plan to stop working for a span of four hours across multiple shifts “to protest the Abbott Government’s attack on their rights, conditions and take home pay.” The union said, “The major impact is expected in the busy Monday morning peak at international airports.”
The Australian said affected airports are likely to be Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Darwin, Perth and Adelaide.
Border Force Marine Unit staff, also CPSU members, will undertake “in port bans,” ceasing efforts to load and unload equipment from the unit’s fleet and will sit out the usual pre-departure checks and maintenance on boats during the week.
The union did tell The Australian that members who have “essential national security, counter-terrorism and specialist bio-security hazard roles” are exempt from striking.
Members of the union will be handing out flyers at the international airports and other locations to draw attention the dispute, which is the latest in a cavalcade of work actions by Australian government agency employees.
CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood commented to The Australian on the situation: “The Abbott Government has cut more than 17,000 public sector jobs and is now going after the pay and conditions of those left.
“Workers are facing the loss of up to $8,000 a year — even more for those in remote areas or with specialized skills — from their take home pay. The Abbott Government is insisting the Department (of Employment) take an axe to the allowances that make up much of their pay packets which compensate them for weeks away from family at sea, using firearms, meeting high fitness standards, working long hours, unusual shifts and performing dirty and or dangerous work.”
Flood said to The Australian the action “will impact on the public” but “the real target is the Abbott Government’s unfair and unworkable bargaining policy which stands between these workers and getting a fair deal.”
As strike time approaches, Australian international airport tweets are urging travelers, especially those flying internationally, to be prepared:
Please arrive early and allow additional time if departing internationally on Monday. https://t.co/1z2GBJtizk— Sydney Airport (@SydneyAirport) July 31, 2015
If you're travelling internationally tomorrow please arrive @melair early as there may be delays as a result of protected industrial action.— Melbourne Airport (@Melair) August 2, 2015
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