Qantas international flights face baggage handlers’ strike disruption

Qantas faces disruption to international flights due to a planned walk out by ground staff.

The 24-hour action is due to take place on September 12 at Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide airports.

The dispute involves around 350 baggage handlers from Emirates-owned dnata who provide services to Qantas international flights.

The airline cut its own ground crew during the pandemic and outsourced the work to firms such as dnata.

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The Australian Transport Workers Union (TWU) now wants dnata to raise pay and conditions, including minimum guaranteed work hours.

Qantas said it had contingency plans in place to counter disruptions and the negotiations were a matter for dnata.

Dnata told the Daily MailAustralia that it was committed to ensuring its employees are appropriately compensated.

“Despite the challenging business environment, we have been offering our staff a highly competitive pay proposal throughout the negotiations,” the airport services company said in a statement.

“We need to ensure that our operations are financially sustainable and we can continue to invest in training, infrastructure and equipment to be able to deliver consistent quality and safe services across our operations.”

The company added: “Only part of our team are TWU members and therefore able to take industrial action. There is also no guarantee that just because an employee is a member of the union, they will take industrial action even if the union seeks to.

“We continue to directly engage with our employees to discuss with them the position of our business and the value which is on offer as part of our wages proposal, and are hopeful that even if industrial action is pursued by the union it will not be strongly supported by our employees.”

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