Qantas long-haul pilots have voted for industrial action against the airline for the first time since 1966.
More than 90% of 1429 Qantas pilots who voted in a ballot were in favour of the action. A final strategy will be mapped out over the weekend.
“It’s up to us what action we will be taking,” said Australian International Pilots Association vice-president, Richard Woodward.
The association has cited concerns about the outsourcing and off-shoring of pilot jobs at Qantas.
AIPA president, Captain Barry Jackson, said the aim of the action was to get a clause in an enterprise agreement guaranteeing Qantas pilots would operate Qantas long-haul flights.
“The issue that pushed us towards taking protected industrial action is a fundamental one – keeping Qantas pilots operating Qantas flights,” said Jackson.
“We now have a management team in charge who believe you can shift operations to Asia, outsource the jobs of Australian Qantas pilots and not do any damage to the Qantas brand in the process. They are wrong.”
Qantas, in a statement, said it was disappointed by the pilots’ action.
The airline said: “The pilots’ union is demanding pay increases, free flights on top of already heavily discounted airfares and a requirement that pilots on all Qantas airlines, including Jetstar, are paid the same high rates as Qantas pilots.”
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