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Industrial action at Jetstar – know your rights!

11 December 2019 By ASU

For a period of 30 days over the Christmas and New Year period, members of the Australian Federation of Airline Pilots (AFAP) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) will be taking various forms of protected industrial action at Jetstar.

The industrial action may be in various forms, including:

  • stopping work for periods of 15 minutes up to and including stoppages of 2, 4, 8 and 24 hours at a time;
  • the wearing of non-uniform badges, clothing, hats, stickers with campaign messaging; and
  • various bans that may include not completing various forms of paperwork, not doing higher duties or call backs.

Why is action being taken?

Pilots, as well as Ramp and Bag Room employees are in the middle of negotiating their latest EBA’s which allows them to take legally protected industrial action during EBA negotiations.

ASU members are covered by a different EBA and not involved in these negotiations. Whilst we wish our fellow workmates and other unions’ members well with their actions, it is not legal for you to take industrial or strike action in support of your colleagues.

Who is and isn’t protected?

Only AFAP and TWU members covered by those EBAs will be protected. Non-members, members of other unions covered by different EBAs – including ASU members – are not protected by any of the other unions’ notices and cannot take action in support of the other unions’ claims.

What rights do I have?

You cannot be expected to perform duties that you wouldn’t normally do.

Remember, at any time that the AFAP or TWU members stop work:

  • you should never be expected to perform duties that you would not otherwise be directed to perform by a manager in the normal course of your duties;
  • you should never be expected to perform work outside of your classification level of employment; 
  • you should never be expected to perform work that you are not adequately or suitably trained to do;
  • you should never be directed to do work that you believe is not safe; and
  • you should never be directed to do work that you believe may be detrimental to your health and safety.

You may be impacted

You may experience an impact to your job such as increased pressure from customers or an increased expectation to work longer hours.

The ASU wrote to Jetstar asking what they intended to do to mitigate the potential impact on you and to ensure that proper resources and safety measures were put in place to support you and they have advised us that:

  • you will not be expected to do non ASU work;
  • you will not be put in compromising situations;
  • they will put on additional managers to deal with unhappy and unruly passengers;
  • they will engage additional security both visible and covert; and,
  • access to EAP is available to employees if required.

Additionally, please remember that you have rights under your EBA including an expectation to double-time pay if your rostered times are changed with less than 48 hours’ notice, as well as proper rest periods meal breaks and much more.

Jetstar must keep you in a healthy and safe environment

Jetstar has a legal obligation to keep you healthy and safe at work. You have a right to feel healthy and safe. If at any time you feel unsafe, uncomfortable or overwhelmed then advise your supervisor/manager immediately. If you feel threatened or intimidated remove yourself from the situation immediately and have a manager deal with it.

If you feel that you are not being given adequate support or you are being put at risk then contact your ASU union delegates and organiser immediately, many of whom will be on site during the various actions to support you if it’s required.

Your colleagues are taking legitimate and legally protected industrial action as sanctioned by the Fair Work Commission when they approved the ballot that the both the AFAP and TWU ran successfully last week.

The ASU fully supports the right to take protected industrial action. We wish those unions well and hope they achieve a better offer and pay outcome from Jetstar.

However, the ASU urges our members to give careful consideration to their own wellbeing during the busy holiday period while continuing to perform your job as required. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the job, speak to you the ASU about taking steps to ensure you are safe at work.

Stay informed

The ASU is aware that Ramp and Baggage Handlers will be taking two 2 hour work stoppages in the morning and afternoon at multiple airports around the country on Friday 13 December 2019.

Additionally, pilots will be taking stoppages of 4 hours on Saturday 14 December 2019.

Future actions and stoppages will occur beyond these dates however we will not know the circumstances or length of stoppages until approximately 72 hours before the action is to be taken. The AFAP and TWU only need to provide Jetstar with 72 hours’ notice of action prior to taking it.

The ASU will keep members fully informed of any planned future industrial action to be taken and will hold Jetstar accountable to ensure that your wellbeing and safety is paramount during these periods of action.

Join today!

If you are not already a member, it’s time to join the ASU! Join online at For more information please contact your local ASU organiser or delegate:

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