Travelers have been warned to anticipate delays at all eight international airports as Australian Border Force workers launch a multiple day marathon strike.
Immigration and Border Force workers at Melbourne Airport have vowed to halt work from 5am to 7am, and 9pm to 11pm starting today over cuts to pay, working conditions and allowances. According to Deputy national president of the CPSU Rupert Evans, about 80 staff members walked off the job at Melbourne Airport this morning, including everyone from air cargo workers to biosecurity staff.
The Community and Public Sector Union says staff processing departing and arriving passengers on international flights will stop work during morning and afternoon peaks for at least 10 days.
Mr Evans said workers at Melbourne Airport would continue to strike between 5am-7am and 9pm-11pm on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday this week, and Monday and Wednesday next week. He admitted officials are unsure how long the strike this morning will delay passengers.
“Workers at Melbourne Airport are already understaffed and passengers already face delays so it’s hard to say how much longer they were waiting,” he said. “Some managers had been flown down to cover the workers on strike, so it’s not as if no-one could get past security for two hours.”
Union secretary Nadine Flood said workers were “angry”.
“They’re under pressure, they face major cuts to their take-home pay and workplace rights and the Government simply hasn’t listened,’’ she said.
“This campaign will end when the Federal Government takes $8000 cuts to take-home pay off the table and works with us to find a sensible resolution to an 18-month bargaining dispute.”