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TWU claims 2014 Jetstar wage freeze will cost staff $200k

written by Adam Thorn | February 24, 2020

Jetstar workers will lose nearly $200,000 in lifetime pay because of an 18-month wage freeze instigated in 2014, an investigation commissioned by the Transport Workers Union claims.

The report by think tank The Australia Institute stated that staff could lose up to $150,000 in wages and $40,000 in superannuation because of the “cumulative impact” of the action.

The revelation comes as Jetstar and its workers remain deadlocked in a dispute over pay and working conditions, which resulted in last week’s strike.

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Avalon’s travellers currently being served by Jetstar, as well as AirAsia (Source: Chris Frame)

Report author Jim Stanford told The Sydney Morning Herald, “The distance between actual wages and the no freeze path actually continues to expand gradually over time – due to the compounding effect of the annual wage gains being applied to a lower starting point.

“Without a commitment to truly lift wages back to their pre-freeze trajectory, therefore, even a temporary wage freeze imposes a growing lifetime economic burden on affected workers.”

However, Jetstar played down the findings, claiming it was part of the TWU’s industrial campaign.

A Jetstar spokesperson said, “Even with the 18-month wage freeze, the take-home pay for our employees has grown faster than most Australian workers.

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“We have been paying 3 per cent annual wage increases, paid cash bonuses and given them thousands of dollars in flight vouchers.”

Last week, Australian Aviation reported how Jetstar operations were “largely unaffected” by Wednesday’s strike that saw 250 Transport Workers Union members walk out and 48 domestic flights cancelled.

The strike was the third to take place in as many months by Jetstar employees, as union members continue their dispute with the airline over more guaranteed working hours, appropriate training for staff and better working conditions.

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