Qantas FIFO pilots in WA are set to strike again this week for two consecutive days beginning on Wednesday.
The Flying Kangaroo said in response it was “reviewing schedules and planning contingencies” to minimise disruption to passengers.
The action is being taken by staff working at subsidiary Network Aviation, which operates more than 300 weekly flights, including regular services from Perth Airport and charter flights for mining, corporates, and emergency freight.
It’s the latest move in a long-running dispute between the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) union and the national carrier, which included strike action last Thursday.
Last week, AFAP senior industrial officer Chris Aikens said pay and conditions for Network pilots are “significantly inferior” to other Qantas pilots and those at comparable airlines.
“The AFAP has been genuinely negotiating and trying to reach an agreement with Qantas management, but the company remains unwilling to revisit its inflexible wages policy instituted under the former CEO,” Aikens said.
“With more than 90 per cent of Network pilots being AFAP members, the pilot group is highly engaged and keen to progress these negotiations towards conclusion.
“We apologise for the disruptions this action will cause to the travelling public in Western Australia, along with FIFO mining staff and other workers reliant on Network and QantasLink flights scheduled for Thursday.”
Qantas is taking the union to the Fair Work Commission after 18 months of negotiations for the new enterprise agreement, which covers around 250 WA-based pilots, failed to reach a deal.
If successful, the application will give the FWC the power to decide on the terms of the new agreement.
Network Aviation previously said it was “disappointing” that the union is planning industrial action not long after the application was lodged.
“We’re working on plans to minimise disruption to our customers if the union does go ahead with industrial action,” the spokesperson said.
“Our proposed agreement, which was supported by all three pilot unions, including the AFAP, for the two most recent votes, offers our pilots significant pay rises and more guaranteed days off each roster period.”
Network Aviation was bought by Qantas in 2010 and operates a fleet of more than 30 aircraft.