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Dnata workers call off Monday airport strikes after union strikes deal with company

Airport chaos is averted as thousands of workers call off their 24-hour strike threat after massive pay rise

  • Travelers have been spared chaotic scenes after union strikes a deal
  • Dnata Australia ground staff to receive a 17 percent pay increase over four years
  • TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said it’s ‘a relief for hard-working families’
  • It comes after months of queues and canceled flights for travelers

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The impending chaos at the airport has been averted just days before it was set to begin after ground handling personnel signed a wage agreement with their bosses.

Baggage handlers and ground staff employed by Emirates-owned Dnata have abandoned their protected industrial action plan, with workers planning to take 24 hours off their jobs on Monday.

Dnata provides ground services to 30 airlines, including Qantas, Emirates, Etihad and Singapore Airlines and has more than 17,000 employees across Australia.

The deal with the union means travelers flying with those airlines will avoid potential disruption next week.

The 17 percent pay increase, which will take place over a four-year period, includes a 12.6 percent pay increase and gives employees more job security.

Travelers will be less inconvenienced on Monday after baggage and ground staff hit the massive 17 percent pay increase over four years (photo, travelers in Sydney)

Travelers will be less inconvenienced on Monday after baggage and ground staff hit the massive 17 percent pay increase over four years (photo, travelers in Sydney)

1662624650 771 Dnata workers call off Monday airport strikes after union strikes

1662624650 771 Dnata workers call off Monday airport strikes after union strikes

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the “overworked” ground staff waited two years for a fair deal (pictured, Mr. Kaine speaking to media earlier this year)

1662624651 865 Dnata workers call off Monday airport strikes after union strikes

1662624651 865 Dnata workers call off Monday airport strikes after union strikes

Kaine said: “It is a relief to hard-working families that strike action as a last resort is no longer necessary.” (shown, a baggage handler on the ground)

National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union, Michael Kaine, said Dnata workers had waited two years to close the deal for better financial security.

“The overworked ground crew needed a fair deal that would support them and their families so they could stay in the industry. By standing strong together, they have achieved it,” Kaine said.

“It is a relief for hard-working families that strikes are no longer necessary as a last resort.”

Dnata Australia said the agreement “would further enhance its highly competitive compensation packages”.

“Despite a challenging business environment, we offered our employees a very competitive salary outcome during the negotiations,” said Burt Sigsworth, CEO of Dnata Australia.

“I thank every Dnata employee for their hard work, loyalty and unwavering commitment to Dnata and our customers during these challenging times.”

The TWU is also about to strike a deal with Menzies, a ground handling agent in Sydney, before the workers vote on union action.

The news comes after passengers across the country queued for months for long queues, repeated flight cancellations and nightmarish wait times on the phone with airlines.

1662624652 289 Dnata workers call off Monday airport strikes after union strikes

1662624652 289 Dnata workers call off Monday airport strikes after union strikes

Dnata Australia (pictured), with 1,700 employees in Australia, said the agreement will “further enhance its highly competitive compensation packages”

Dnata said it had offered their staff a 'highly competitive wage outcome' during the negotiations (pictured, ground staff in Sydney)

Dnata said it had offered their staff a 'highly competitive wage outcome' during the negotiations (pictured, ground staff in Sydney)

Dnata said it had offered their staff a ‘highly competitive wage outcome’ during the negotiations (pictured, ground staff in Sydney)

Meanwhile, more than 200 passengers on a Qantas flight during rush hour were led under heavy police guard to be re-screened after a person managed to get past security in scenes a flight attendant said they had never seen flying in 20 years.

Flight QF487 departed Sydney at about 7pm on Wednesday and landed in Melbourne just after 8.30pm – but those on board were told they could not disembark.

After landing at Tullamarine, the captain immediately announced that a person on the flight had somehow slipped through security at Sydney Airport and that everyone would have to be re-screened.

AFP and Victoria Police escorted the group through the airport in north-west Melbourne to the security gates, where they were scanned before they were allowed to leave.

More than 200 passengers on a Qantas flight during rush hour (pictured) were put under heavy police guard to be re-screened after one person managed to get past security

More than 200 passengers on a Qantas flight during rush hour (pictured) were put under heavy police guard to be re-screened after one person managed to get past security

More than 200 passengers on a Qantas flight during rush hour (pictured) were put under heavy police guard to be re-screened after one person managed to get past security

It is not known how the passenger was able to skip security in Sydney, but it raises serious concerns about the security of the airport and its flights.

The more than 200 people who landed in Melbourne on Wednesday night were told to immediately go to security under heavy police guard – and not even use the toilets.

Confused passengers were told to have their bags checked a second time by airport staff.

They were all led through security alongside other people checking in for flights before being told to leave — with little to no explanation from Qantas or airport staff.

One flight attendant said they had never seen the situation in their 20 years in the industry.

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