QANTAS: UPDATE – NO Strike! Strike! Strike of Dnata staff
The strike has been called off.
International ground handling will be as normal on Monday 12 September.
Dnata has negotiated a settlement with the workers and union, which gives the ground handling workers considerable improvements in pay and conditions.
The deal involves securing a pay increase of 17% over 4 years, the protection of existing overtime entitlements, and an increase in the pathways for part-time employees to move to full-time work, and for casuals to move to permanent positions.
Workers also get immediate backpay with an increase of 12.6%, plus an additional 4.6% in 2023.
Both sides, the union and workers and the Dnata corporation are crowing about the deal being a success. It remains to be sean if other similar ground handling organisations like Swissport and Menzies will come to similar agreements with their workers and parent companies.
Dnata, a division of Emirates Airlines that provides baggage and other ground handling services for Qantas among others faces the prospect of some of its staff walking off the job for 24 hours as part of approved industrial action on Monday 12 September.
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You may remember that Qantas illegally sacked about 1700 workers including ground handlers, and outsourced the work to third parties including Dnata. At the time, Qantas claimed that it could save around AU$100 million from this exercise. That is partly due to the lower rates of pay that Dnata and other outsourced employers pay their staff compared to Qantas.
The Transport Workers Union has been calling for Dnata to lift pay and conditions including guaranteeing minimum work hours for its 350 odd ground handling employees.
The industrial action was agreed to on Friday (2 September 2022) after a Fair Work Commission approved vote was held.
Qantas – International not Domestic
Fortunately, Qantas has foreseen this strike and has alternate arrangements in place to cover affected international services in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. Dnata does not provide services to Qantas Domestic operation – only international along with about 20 other airlines including Emirates and Etihad.
So, if you are travelling on Qantas out of or into Brisbane, Melbourne, or Sydney on Monday 12 September, I suggest steeling yourselves for delays, or at the very least some inefficiencies.
If you are departing any of these cities – make sure you arrive the recommended time before your flight – usually 3 hours. If you can travel with only cabin luggage, I suggest your do. At the very least, invest in some baggage tracking device like Apple AirTags.
If you are arriving at any of these destinations, then be prepared for a long wait.
Wishing you all luck.