Qantas staff has now returned to work after protesting for four hours today morning.
According to senior airline official, Mick Pieri, an estimated 600 Transport Union Workers participated in the stop-work protest. “Today’s strike sent a clear message to Qantas management that we are not going to be intimidated,” he said.
A Qantas spokesman said passengers were barely affected by the strike action, with the longest delay only 20 minutes. However, the protest was considered to be ‘hugely successful’.
“Every single TWU worker united as one today and we have stood together for job security,” Mr. Pieri said. He did not rule out further strike action if Qantas failed to negotiate.
“We will do whatever action we need to get some results,” Mr Pieri said. “Don’t rule anything out yet.”
Qantas workers said their initial plan was to stop work for one hour but were locked out until 11am by management because of their protest.
Previously, Qantas workers who were planning to protest at Sydney Airport were locked out by senior management unless they signed a contract that banned them from going on strike.
Staff arrived at the airport at 3.30 AM, only to be locked out by management who refused to let them start work if they joined the protest.
The ‘bullying’ tactics failed to stop more than 50 workers from protesting just after 7 AM, with the strike causing the cancellation of 28 flights and delaying 27 others.
Mr Pieri said negotiations for a five per cent pay rise and job protection had been ongoing with management for five months.