Qantas regional pilots call for 24-hour strike

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Singapore SA2024The Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) has announced it will stop work for 24 hours on 4 October at Australian flag carrier Qantas. Members at Network Aviation, which flies regional routes and fly-in, fly-out routes, will take a so-called “protected industrial action” (PIA) with a 24-hour stoppage of all work on Wednesday 4 October (effective from 00:01 and ending at 23.59 on the same day). This PIA action is the final item in a list of 25 PIA potential actions (attached) approved by Australia’s Fair Work Commission (FWC).

“The AFAP remains committed to reaching an agreement for our members in Western Australia who fly for Qantas subsidiary Network Aviation and is disappointed that we have had to take this action,” said Senior Industrial Officer Chris Aikens.

The AFAP represents more than 85 percent of the commercial pilots employed by Qantas Group subsidiary Network Aviation to fly passenger transport (PT), and fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) and private charter aircraft in Western Australia.

Pilots voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking protected industrial action with more than 99.5 per cent of the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) pilot members at Network Aviation (more than 85 percent of the pilot group) voting to approve the taking of a range of legally protected industrial action that includes a number of work bans and work stoppages.

The PIA ballot opened on 6 September 2023 and closed on 25 September 2023 during which a total of 209 of the 211 AFAP members who were eligible to participate submitted a vote online in a ballot approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) and conducted by TrueVote.

AFAP pilots for the subsidiaries operate QantasLink services that also fly to Victoria and South Australia, as well as internally in the states they are based in. A QantasLink spokesperson said the airline had “contingency plans to minimise disruption to customers”.

“We’re working to try and resolve this and avoid any industrial action. Our proposed agreement offers our pilots significant pay rises and more guaranteed days off each roster period and we’re disappointed the AFAP has chosen to move towards industrial action while we have been trying to negotiate,” the spokesperson said.

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