Jetstar Ground Crew Accept Deal
- Australia’s Jetstar ended a simmering labor dispute with ground workers by reaching a new deal, which the union says members were “blackmailed” into taking. It provides 12% pay raises over four years and changes to scheduling and work hours.
But the Transport Workers Union said its members were pushed into taking the new deal by the airline, which the union claims made raises from last year contingent on the new agreement. The airline, for its part, says the deal is fair and that the union was trying to strong-arm it into scheduling more full-time workers than it needed. Jetstar flights were grounded last month when ground crews walked off the job over the year-long contract dispute.
Separately, talks with Jetstar’s pilots union continue.
Southwest, Pilots to Begin Talks
- Southwest and the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) began talks for a new contract, six months before the current pact becomes amendable. The last deal was signed in 2016 after contentious negotiations — at one point SWAPA called on CEO Gary Kelly to step down — and after 10 months of federal mediation.
SWAPA said it has been consulting with its members and plans to present the airline with a “completely rewritten” collective bargaining agreement, which it says will modernize and simplify the current agreement. The union is seeking changes to scheduling and productivity, as well as improved disability, retiree, and healthcare benefits.
SWAPA says its pilots are the “most productive” in the U.S. and face a greater workload than any other pilot group due to “numbers of takeoffs and landings alone.”