Sydney Airport chaos as Emirates-owned Dnata workers for Qantas, Virgin Australia prepare to strike
Airport chaos erupts again and will get WORSE as employees of 20 airlines prepare to leave their jobs under ‘terrible’ conditions and release scathing memo
- Airports hit by fresh chaos as ground staff consider strike
- Management Memo Reveals Security Risks About Employees Spending Cutbacks
- International travel at Australia’s biggest airports could be crippled by strike
- Vote comes amid new check-in hell for air travelers with new security delays
Travel chaos at airports is only going to get worse as baggage handlers prepare to go on strike after their wage agreements grind to a halt and another security problem hits the check-in counters.
Virgin Australia was reportedly hit by another computer failure on Tuesday morning, impacting security at Sydney Airport and causing more massive check-in delays.
And a damning memo has revealed the security risks faced by the airport’s ground crew bosses amid the current chaos, with foreign workers coming in to help.
Travel chaos at airports will worsen as baggage handlers prepare to strike after pay deal talks stall and another crippling security issue hits check-ins
Emirates-owned Dnata is the remote ground staff employed by 20 airlines, including Qantas, Etihad and Singapore Airlines, after many laid off their own staff during the pandemic.
But Dnata has now told their crews to ignore pressure from airline personnel to work faster or cut spending after a string of incidents and accidents in the past two weeks.
According to the leaked memo to staff, ground handlers had caused “aircraft damage” and “serious damage” to ground personnel.
“The phrase ‘under the pump’ should be dropped from our collective vocabulary, especially where it is used to explain unsafe behavior,” the memo reported by the Daily Telegram.
Ground staff in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will now vote over lunch on Tuesday on whether to resign over security concerns and a proposed pay deal.
A damning memo has exposed the security risks faced by airport ground crew bosses amid the current chaos as foreign workers have come in to help
A strike could bring nearly all international air travel to a standstill, with airlines virtually unable to operate from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports.
“It is appalling that the union is taking the action they are proposing,” said Andrew David, CEO of Qantas Domestic and International.
“Everyone in this country has been locked up for two years or more. They want to go home, they want to see family. They want to go see friends.
“If the union takes this action, it will affect all those airlines and everyone at our international airports.”
He dismissed the security risks and said the airline would always put safety first, even if it meant delaying flights, but apologized for the current chaos.
“We know we have more work to do,” he told Nine’s Today show.
“I absolutely accept that people hold us to a higher standard. We hold ourselves to a higher standard.
‘And we have not met those standards. My apologies to all your viewers, as we’re working hard on that.
“We are seeing improvements – our mishandled baggage rate is close to pre-Covid levels. Our call center rate is better than before Covid.
“Our cancellation rates are better or close to where they were before Covid. We know we have more work to do on our on-time performance. It’s going better.’
A strike could bring nearly all international air travel to a standstill, with airlines virtually unable to operate from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports
Workers claim that poor wages and working conditions have left airports severely understaffed and that the situation will not improve unless there is more secure work and better wages.
The Transport Workers Union will now apply to the Fair Work Commission to vote for a strike after talks with management failed.
Union bosses claimed the proposed wage agreement would leave experienced staff with pay cuts and wages below the award minimum.
They claim that Dnata brought additional workers from the Philippines to alleviate the crisis, but refused to allow local part-time workers to work extra shifts or create more full-time jobs.
“Instead of lifting the standards or guaranteeing employees more hours in their contracts, Dnata tried to bring in foreign workers at great expense,” said TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine.
“Workers have successfully reversed that plan, but are now threatening to go on strike to achieve fair wage increases and job security.”
Dnata’s catering staff are also on the brink of separate strikes over pay, which they claim is below pay rates for some workers.