Jetstar workers have voted to accept a new pay deal, ending months of industrial action which led to flight disruptions

AAP Image/Daniel MunozJetstar workers agreed to a new deal.
  • Jetstar workers have signed off on an enterprise agreement after a lengthy pay and worker condition dispute which led to strikes.
  • The Transport Workers Union called for a minimum of 30 hours work per week, a 4% increase in wages and a guaranteed 12-hour break between shifts.
  • Under the enterprise agreement, workers will get a 3% pay rise over four years and improved rostering conditions.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Jetstar workers have reached an agreement with the company after a year-long pay dispute which resulted in strike action.

Jetstar workers held strikes in December and February amid disputes over pay and workers conditions.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) had called for a minimum of 30 hours work per week, a 4% increase in wages and a guaranteed 12-hour break between shifts.

In February, Jetstar even proactively cancelled flights due to the strike action.

Now, the workers have agreed to a new deal which includes a 3% pay rise over four years as well as improvements to allowances and rostering.

Jetstar had been negotiating with the TWU on a new enterprise agreement for Jetstar ground crew for a year. The airline proposed an agreement which included 3% annual pay increases, a year’s worth of back pay and rostering benefits.

The 3% deal aligns with the same approach in the Qantas Group, and while the union voted “no” to it, the ground crew majority voted yes.

The Transport Workers Union says Jetstar used “blackmail” to get workers to support the agreement

Transport Workers Union (TWU) National Secretary Michael Kaine praised the Jetstar workers for conducting the strikes.

“It is not easy to stand up at your workplace along with your mates and say no to your manager,” he said in a statement.

“Jetstar workers did this for as long as they could but for low-paid workers the prospect of being denied money from a rate increase that was due a year ago was too much.”

However, Kaine said Jetstar was using “blackmail tactics” to force workers into the new agreement.

“The lack of hours these workers struggle with means many live pay-check to pay-check,” he said in a statement. “Jetstar knows this and therefore chose to force this deal on workers using disgraceful blackmail tactics.”

The TWU also criticised the Federal Government for not holding airports and airlines accountable when it comes to underemployment and poverty wages in aviation.

He added that some workers across airports have been underemployed, working on as little as 60 hours a month.

“This is happening as it was revealed by the ACCC this week that Australia’s four main airports made $2.3 billion in profit while Qantas made $771 million in just six months,” Kaine said. “Our Federal Government is standing by and allowing this to happen at a time when underemployment and low wage growth is dragging our economy down.”

Jetstar calls the agreement “an important win”

Gareth Evans, Jetstar Group CEO told Business Insider Australia via email that the agreement was “an important win against a campaign of misinformation and inaccuracies by the TWU” which was “part of their broader national fight against airports and airlines.”

“The union’s package equated to a 12% increase in costs in the first year which shows how out of touch they are with the realities of operating a business and how out of touch they are with the broader challenges currently facing the travel and tourism industry,” he said.

“The TWU tried to dictate how we run our business by pushing us to guarantee some part time workers more hours regardless of what work the airline actually needs.

“We’ve been very clear that no part of Jetstar or the Qantas Group will do a wage deal of more than 3%, and the TWU knew this because they’d already agreed to 3% deals in other parts of the business.”