Virgin Australia will sit down with disgruntled cabin crew today, December 8, in a last-ditch bid to avoid Christmas travel chaos.
Workers have threatened to strike during the busy holiday period unless an agreement can be reached to improve pay, job security and work-life balance.
It comes after the Transport Workers Union’s protected-action ballot closed on Monday, with 99 per cent of participating Virgin cabin crew voting in favour of 24-hour stoppages.
The Fair Work Commission will oversee today’s talks between union representatives and the airline, which is desperately looking to find a resolution.
TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said the ball was now in Virgin’s court to come to the party.
“Protected industrial action is always a last resort, but after three difficult years of wage freezes and punishing rosters to see Virgin roar back to profit, this vote shows that workers have reached the end of their tether,” he said.
“It’s time for owners Bain Capital to show workers their concerns are understood and fix key issues driving high turnover and chronically low morale.
“Hollow words from executives in virtual town halls when respect is not being shown in action at the table is adding insult to injury as the busiest time of year approaches.
Mr Kaine said workers need reasonable rosters, decent hours, better work-life balance, and crucial job security guarantees.
“No one wants to see exhausted cabin crew servicing planes,” he said.
“Virgin workers above and below the wing have put forward sensible proposals to ensure a strong future for the airline and its workforce.
“In ground handling, we have now seen a good response with a strong enterprise agreement offer. Cabin crew and pilots deserve the same fair treatment, and certainty of pay and conditions before the festive peak”.