|Issue No 118||02 November 2001|
Airport Screeners Strike Over Work Value
By Andrew Casey
Security staff at Melbourne's Qantas and international airport have returned to work following an interim offer of a pay increase of between $24 and $26 a week - and an agreement for a new work value case - with an outcome before Christmas.
" This has been a frustratingly slow and long process forced on our membership by a rickety workplace relations act introduced by the Howard Government," Terry Breheny, Victorian Assistant Secretary said.
More than 170 LHMU Security Union members walked off the job on Wednesday to protest a decision by the full bench not to give them an award pay increase.
The union members agreed to a return-to-work following a day of intensive talks in the Industrial Relations Commission.
" Our members have returned to work as a sign of good faith.
" However they really are unhappy that workers who have such significant responsibilities, highlighted by the September 11 incidents, have to accept such low pay and interminable delays to fix up their very real pay problems."
The Industrial Relations Commission recommendation results in a pay increase of approximately 4% - with the opportunity for further increases from the work value case.
" This result is overdue. Chubb Security has dragged their heels for eight months now, despite the fact that airport security guards for Group 4 Securitas have been paid nearly 15% more for the same work since May last year.
Chubb has publicly acknowledged the value and responsibility of the work - and yet has not been prepared to pay for the skills," Terry Breheny said
The LHMU Airport Security Union has mounted a national campaign to deliver security to all Australian airports.
Details of the claim can be found by clicking here.
Read a couple of earlier stories about the Melbourne airport security workers' walk-out.
CNN on airport security
The CNN web-page is currently running a series on airport security and the poor pay and working condition of US screeners. The issues in the USA are almost the same as in Australia, or the UK, or Europe.
You can read the 4-part CNN feature by clicking here.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005