10 days of airport turbulence as Border Force dispute escalates

Would you cop a $8000 pay cut?

Passengers at all eight international airports around the country have been warned of potential disruption, as Immigration and Border Force workers are continuing their 10 day run of strike action to defend their rights, conditions and take-home pay.

Staff processing both departing and arriving travellers on international flights are preparing to stop work for two hours, twice a day - during the morning and afternoon peaks. Action has been notified from Monday September 21 through to Wednesday September 30.

These strikes are part of an ongoing campaign as staff grow increasingly frustrated at Government policy which seeks to cut many rights, conditions and allowances, cutting current pay for many staff by $8000 a year.

Community and Public Sector Union Secretary Nadine Flood said: “These workers are angry, they’re under pressure, they face major cuts to their take-home pay and workplace rights and Government simply hasn’t listened. Border Force workers feel they have no choice but to act, so they are prepared to strike every day, twice a day over peak periods, over 10 days.

“Rather than deal sensibly with the core issue, Border Force is flying large teams of managers all over the country to act as strike breakers at airports at vast expense. They’re turning heavy handed tactics on their own workforce.

“This million-dollar band-aid operation means the impact of strike action on the travelling public will be unpredictable and may vary from place to place and day to day.

“Rather than ask Government for sensible changes so they can actually negotiate, Border Force management is focussing all their efforts on this band-aid operation.

“Border Force workers are calling on their managers to reject these nasty divide-and-rule tactics and to join the union so they can refuse to act as strike breakers.

“The Government and the Department have had well over a year to sit down with the union and work out a fair deal. These men and women work in important, difficult and sometimes dangerous jobs to keep all Australians safe. They deserve better treatment from the Government.

“This campaign will end when the Federal Government takes $8,000 cuts to take-home pay off the table and works with us to find a sensible resolution to an 18-month bargaining dispute.

“We are calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to make resolving this dispute a public service priority, with a Minister who’s prepared to talk and hear workers legitimate concerns.”

There will also be disruption for international cargo and mail as workers in other essential roles also strike on selected days, including biosecurity, the Dog Detector Unit and Maritime Operations.

Workers in other agencies, including Agriculture, Human Services, the Tax Office, Defence, DVA, ABS, Environment and Employment also took strike action on Thursday 24 September.

Airport strike details, Wed 30 September

Sydney: 7am – 9am

Melbourne Tullamarine: 5am – 7am and 9pm – 11pm

Brisbane: 7am – 9am and 7pm - 9pm

Perth: 5:30am – 7:30am and 5pm – 7pm

Darwin: 4:30am - 6:30 am

Coolangatta (Gold Coast):  6:30am - 8:30am and 7:30pm – 9:30pm

Cairns: 4am – 6am

Adelaide: 6:30am - 8.30am and 8pm - 10pm