TWU, National Jet working it out

PROGRESS is being made between National Jet and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) with the latter stopping short of applying for industrial action that could have thrown fly-in, fly-out operations into turmoil.
TWU, National Jet working it out
TWU, National Jet working it out
TWU, National Jet working it out
TWU, National Jet working it out
TWU, National Jet working it out

TWU organiser Rick Burton said the union and the contracted air services provider, which employs pilots who fly for QantasLink, have had two meetings so far, with another one arranged for later this week.

According to Burton, the TWU had not applied to the Industrial Relations Commission to seek approval for a secret ballot, which could have led to industrial action, because National Jet had indicated it was prepared to talk about the pilots' grievances.

At the end of last month, around 70 pilots voted unanimously to have collective union agreements replace their current individual contracts, and the inclusion of some conditions such as training, promotion, equal pay and reasonable working hours.

The TWU had previously threatened to launch an industrial campaign following the outcome of the secret ballot, which could have included eight-hour and rolling stoppages and placing work bans on flying times.

Any industrial action would have thrown a spanner in the works for fly-in-fly out operations. National Jet running services to Santos' Moomba operation and to Barrow Island where it connects with Bristow Helicopters, which serves Apache Energy, Chevron, BHP Billiton and other companies. National Jet also has arrangements with a number of mining companies.

But Burton warned that the issues had not yet been resolved.

"If we don't start to have a positive outcome on that one [meeting later in the week] then I think our application for a secret ballot would happen early next week," he said.

"So far we've sat down and had two meetings, so we've just got to get from them that they're going to do a collective agreement."

Burton added he was confident industrial action would not be necessary, but that would depend on the outcome of this week's meeting.

A National Jet spokesperson said the company had nothing further to add.

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