Cabin crew members of the flag carrier of Australia Qantas Airways are considering a strike demanding better working conditions.
The employees have voted for industrial action after being requested by Qantas to perform longer hours of duty while having shorter rest times. The staff is considering withdrawing from their duties for up to 24 hours. Such a move is expected to cause significant operational delays or even flight cancelations for Qantas Airways. The exact date for the proposed Qantas cabin crew walk out has not been officially announced yet.
Speaking to Australian Aviation on November 23, 2022, the federal secretary of the Flight Attendants’ Association of Australia (FAAA) Teri O’Toole said that the goal of the proposed strike is to urge Qantas management to renegotiate the planned cabin crew shift extensions, which would force the employees to be on duty for 12 or even 14 hours in case of unexpected disruptions, instead of 9.45 hours per standard. This would also reduce the scheduled crew rest time.
“Our members have languished under expired agreements for several years while having to bear the burden of stand-downs and the COVID pandemic,” O’Toole was cited as saying. “Meanwhile, the demand for travel has rebounded strongly, and Qantas is enjoying multi-billion dollar profits. Yet Qantas is asking its loyal employees, who stood by the airline through its worst days, to take pay freezes and sub-inflation pay rises while demanding massive productivity gains.”
Like other carriers globally, Qantas has been suffering from staff shortages during the bounce-back in demand that followed the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to delays and cancelations in the past summer season of 2022.