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Airport firefighter strike off as union strikes deal

written by Adam Thorn | December 5, 2022

Airport firefighters have cancelled strike action planned for Friday after agreeing to a 4.9 per cent pay rise.

The United Firefighters Union (UFU) aviation secretary Wes Garrett said the “in principle” agreement would also include boosting the number of airport firefighters.

His members were due to stop working between 6–10am on Friday, 9 December, in a move that would have caused huge disruption for passengers.

“Our campaign has always been about protecting the safety of Australia’s air travellers,” UFU aviation secretary Wes Garrett said.


“Every time your loved ones and friends board an aircraft in Australia, they deserve fully staffed aviation firefighters to be there to protect them when they need it most.

“For over a year, that’s what we’ve been campaigning to achieve, and that’s what we hope this in principle agreement will deliver,” Mr Garrett said.

“The United Firefighters Union – Aviation Branch will hold Airservices to account to ensure they remedy this aviation firefighter shortage as quickly as possible.”

Jason Harfield, the CEO of Airservices Australia, the government-owned organisation responsible for airport rescue and firefighting, said the agreement would provide certainty for airlines.

The UFU was thought to be seeking a 15.5 per cent pay rise over three years as well as a commitment to hiring more staff. Airservices initially offered 11.5 per cent.

The strike would have caused major disruption as airlines and airports gear up for the busiest Christmas holidays post-pandemic.

Qantas alone intends to carry 8 million passengers and is increasing the number of flights on key routes and swapping in larger aircraft in order to boost capacity.

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