Stalled wage negotiations lead to another pilots strike

The Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) has served Qantas (ASX:QAN) subsidiary Network Aviation notice of a 24-hour stoppage of all work from 8 February 2024. 

Network Aviation’s 250 pilots cater for the resources industry fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers at Western Australia mines. 

Up to 90% of pilots, who are all members of AFAP, are expected to take industrial action as enterprise bargaining continues to drag on following the expiration of the Network Aviation Pilots Enterprise Agreement 2016 on 31 October 2020.

AFAP Senior Industrial Officer Chris Aikens says: “Network pilots’ pay and conditions are significantly inferior to that of other pilots at Qantas and 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. 

With more than 90% 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 Western Australia along with FIFO mining staff and other workers reliant on Network and QantasLink flights scheduled for Thursday.”     

The AFAP is the only pilot union to have filed for protected industrial action (PIA), and as such only AFAP members can participate in the ballot and take PIA. 

A previous one-day strike in October 2023 grounded half the Flying Kangaroo’s flights within the state, forcing the airline operator to redeploy Boeing 737s and turn to other charters to pick up the slack.

Network Aviation operates more than 300 weekly flights, with regular services from Perth Airport. 

With 5,500 members, the AFAP is the largest professional association and industrial organisation for commercial pilots in Australia.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Qantas
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.