Jetstar Strike – Everything You Need To Know

Several Jetstar flights will be canceled this Wednesday as the low-cost carrier is hit by further industrial action. There will be a rolling series of two-hour strikes over 24 hours. In response, Jetstar has canceled 47 flights.

47 Jetstar flights are going to be canceled on Wednesday. Jetstar via Facebook

A long-running dispute between the TWU and Jetstar

Jetstar is wholly owned by Qantas. Jetstar has been managing on-going industrial action by the  Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) and Transport Workers Union (TWU). Before Christmas, the AFAP conducted a series of strikes. Tomorrow’s strikes are being organized by the TWU.

The TWU represents ground handlers, refuellers, caterers, cleaners, customer service, security and cabin crew employees. The TWU has a long-running dispute with Jetstar over employee hours, rosters, and job security.

There won’t be many smiles and star jumps at Jetstar tomorrow. Jetstar via Facebook

Jetstar says the TWU’s current list of claims equates to a 12% increase in costs, including a 6% wages and superannuation increase. In a statement, Jetstar’s CEO Gareth Evans said;

“We have put a package to the TWU and our people that includes a three per cent annual pay increase and a year’s worth of backpay for each employee as well as a range of other benefits related to rosters.

“The deal delivers annual wage increases well above private-sector wage growth and more than what most companies are offering.”

According to the TWU, workers have been left with no choice but to strike on Wednesday, 19 February 2020. The TWU calls Jetstar’s offer “shoddy.”

Jetstar “proactively” cancels flights

In response, Jetstar has canceled 47 flights on Wednesday. The airline calls this a proactive response. All affected customers have been contacted and offered alternative travel arrangements or refunds.

The flights canceled are;

JQ500 Melbourne to SydneyJQ821 Brisbane to SydneyJQ776 Melbourne to Adelaide
JG502 Melbourne to SydneyJQ560 Melbourne to BrisbaneJQ773 Adelaide to Melbourne
JQ516 Melbourne to SydneyJQ566 Melbourne to BrisbaneJQ777 Adelaide to Melbourne
JQ522 Melbourne to SydneyJQ570 Melbourne to BrisbaneJQ946 Sydney to Cairns
JQ524 Melbourne to SydneyJQ563 Brisbane to MelbourneJQ954 Sydney to Cairns
JQ507 Sydney to MelbourneJQ569 Brisbane to MelbourneJQ949 Cairns to Sydney
JQ515 Sydney to MelbourneJQ567 Brisbane to MelbourneJQ953 Cairns to Sydney
JQ517 Sydney to MelbourneJQ406 Sydney to Gold CoastJQ610 Avalon to Sydney
JQ519 Sydney to MelbourneJQ408 Sydney to Gold CoastJQ609 Sydney to Avalon
JQ523 Sydney to MelbourneJQ409 Gold Coast to SydneyeJQ632 Avalon to Adelaide
JQ527 Sydney to MelbourneJQ411 Gold Coast to SydneyJQ633 Adelaide to Avalon
JQ810 Sydney to BrisbaneJQ762 Sydney to AdelaideJQ703 Melbourne to Hobart
JQ812 Sydney to BrisbaneJQ768 Sydney to AdelaideJQ707 Melbourne to Hobart
JQ824 Sydney to BrisbaneJQ763 Adelaide to SydneyJQ702 Hobart to Melbourne
JQ811 Brisbane to SydneyJQ769 Adelaide to SydneyJQ708 Hobart to Melbourne
JQ813 Brisbane to SydneyJQ772 Melbourne to Adelaide

The majority of flights canceled are from the hubs of Sydney and Melbourne. However, some flights to and from Adelaide, Avalon, Cairns, Gold Coast and Hobart are also canceled.

Tourist hubs and flights to regional centers are largely unaffected. Jetstar advises the strike is not impacting on its international services.

While Jetstar says it is being “proactive,” regular Jetstar passengers know that when things go pear-shaped at the airline, it does so in a big way.

Delays can be expected at Jetstar terminals around Australia tomorrow.  Photo: Jetstar via Facebook

Delays can be expected and T2 in Sydney and T4 in Melbourne should be busier than usual.

To that end, Jetstar says if your flight is delayed more than three hours tomorrow and you’re away from home, you’ll be offered accommodation and meals. If you are delayed more than three hours at your home airport, you’ll be offered alternative flights or a refund.

No reprieve on the horizon

While Australian law outlaws snap strikes, this is the second round of approved strikes at Jetstar in as many months.

There is a long history of protracted and tough workplace bargaining at Australia’s airlines. While union demands are often over the top, airline management can be obtusely resistant to workplace change.

Modern-day Qantas, the parent of Jetstar, is a notoriously tough negotiator. Qantas has its own on-going workplace dispute with prospective Project Sunrise pilots.

The current Qantas CEO infamously shut the airline down in 2011 to bring the unions to heel. While Qantas has left the talking in this dispute to Jetstar’s management, the influence of Qantas is apparent.

Jetstar’s management is strongly rebutting the TWU’s claims and shouting the virtues of their offer. They also show no sign of yielding to the TWU.

It all points to this dispute not resolving in the short term.

Jetstar passengers booked on flights tomorrow who have concerns are advised to contact the airline.