The International Transport Workers Federation was expected to pass a motion on November 11 which could impose restrictions on loading and unloading of baggage on Jetstar flights around Australasia.
The ITF says that Jetstar and parent company Qantas have failed to act on a number of grievances raised by the Transport Workers Union, such as over the use of labour hire companies for ground handling duties. The TWU also launched court action on November 10, alleging that checked baggage for Jetstar flights were not adequately screened on five occasions in June and September.
“I have no doubt whatsoever there will be a real possibility of restrictions on Jetstar around the Oceania area and I would expect that this will snowball into a response around the world,” TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon told The Australian newspaper.
“We take national security extremely seriously … and it’s our workers, it’s the families of our workers, that will be on the receiving end of this short term, short sighted approach.”
A Qantas spokesman rejected the TWU’s claims, accusing the union of using “dubious occupational, health and safety, and security claims” to run an industrial campaign. Qantas is currently suing the TWU over a snap strike called in March which led to massive flight disruptions around the country, while the Workplace Ombudsman is also seeking fines against the union and certain officials.