Dnata ground workers lock in fair agreement, calling off strike action

Transport Workers' Union

Ground handling workers at Dnata have called off strike action set for Monday after successfully knocking back attempts to scale back overtime entitlements and locking in job security provisions and 17% pay increases over four years.

Dnata workers will have a more secure future, achieving greater opportunities for part-timers to convert to full-time roles, and casuals to permanent.

The company has also agreed to improve consultation, giving workers a say over proposed changes before they're decided. With backpay, workers will see an immediate pay increase of 12.6% with a further 4.6% in 2023.

At the TWU Queensland state delegate conference, TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine was with some Dnata workers as the good news of their settlement came in.

"Overworked ground staff needed a fair deal that would sustain them and their families so that they could remain in the industry. By standing strong together, they achieved it.

"After more than two years of turmoil for Dnata workers denied JobKeeper, they're thrilled to have locked in greater financial security and the possibility of converting casual and part-time roles to secure, full-time positions. It's a relief for hardworking families that last resort strike action is no longer necessary.

"It shouldn't be so hard for workers to achieve pay increases above bare minimums and job security. In Qantas' supply chain, workers have had to take on a corporate dictatorship squeezing pay and conditions through commercial pressures after Qantas management illegally outsourced work," he said.

The settlement news comes as Qantas grapples with a major security breach that caused passengers to be escorted from their flight without access to a toilet.

The breach highlights the issues across airports following a mass exodus of skilled, experienced workers. As well as those illegally sacked or made redundant by Qantas, SNP security workers, like Dnata workers, were denied JobKeeper by the Morrison Government, forcing many to leave the industry.

"It's a sad reality that we're going to continue seeing chaos at airports until we regain the levels of training and experience the industry has lost. Qantas led the charge gutting its essential workforce, and the Morrison Government sent more experienced workers packing by denying them the wage subsidy lifeline.

"Aviation needs a circuit breaker to rebalance the power from overpaid executives making decisions to line their own pockets, and ensure good, safe and secure jobs are prioritised. We're calling on the Federal Government to establish a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to deliver quality service standards for the Australian travelling public," Kaine continued.

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