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Holiday travel chaos looms as airport firefighters vote to strike

written by Adam Thorn | November 3, 2022

Airport firefighters have voted in favour of strike action that could potentially cause airlines to cancel services over the busy holiday period.

Members of the aviation branch of the United Firefighters Union voted 93 per cent in favour of work stoppages between two and 12 hours, and also upheld a no-confidence motion in Airservices Australia.

UFU secretary Wes Garrett said later the union would meet next week to decide on the strike timings but that the public would be provided with seven days’ notice.

It will likely spell more disruption for passengers who have suffered the worst delays on record in April, June and July due to a combination of staff shortages and COVID-19 isolation.


The UFU is thought to be seeking a 15.5 per cent pay rise over three years as well as a commitment to hiring more staff.

Airservices Australia, the government-owned organisation responsible for airport rescue and firefighting, is offering an increase of 11.5 per cent.

“We call on the UFU to return to the negotiating table,” it said.

Airservices Australia previously said it had made a “generous” offer to union members.

“Airservices will take all steps necessary to prevent disruptions to flights as a result of the industrial action.

“Our priority is to ensure the safe and efficient continuation of our services to keep Australian aviation moving.

“Airservices will continue to respond to the safety needs of airlines, airports and the travelling public.”

It follows Dnata catering staff and Menzies ground handlers calling off a vote on industrial action after securing pay rises and job security protections in September.

Dnata ground handlers also called off a planned 24-hour strike after securing an immediate 12.6 per cent pay rise.

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Comments (3)

  • Paul


    Another group wanting a payrise. Oh well this inflation cycle will continue with each demand, and the RBA will inflict more pain.
    Sadly this group are also putting at risk millions in tourism dollars

  • John Drewe


    What do Airport Firefighters do all day? John Drewe.

  • Anon


    For information: Airservices originally offered a 0.9% pay rise

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