Saturday, 23 January 2016

REX (Regional EXpress) pilots step up industrial action

REX SAAB 340B-VH-ZRY (CN 340B-401)           File Photo

Pilots at REX (Regional EXpress) are ramping up industrial action against the independent airline for its continued refusal to hand over compensation for nights spent away from home.

Some 13 pilots have been stood down for engaging in the action, which Australian Federation of Air Pilots executive director Simon Lutton said had resulted in delays to 12 services.
“In the face of the company’s escalation, we have little choice but to introduce new forms of industrial action, commencing from the first flight this Friday, and continuing every Monday and Friday,” Mr Lutton said.
The pilots initial industrial ­action involved not carrying round-trip fuel from major ports, meaning pilots were required to refuel at the more expensive regional ports. But Rex has refused to budge in negotiations and has been standing down pilots engaging in the action.
The new forms of industrial action will include not departing an aircraft with a defect that could normally be deferred; using instruments for all approaches, which is usually confined to poor weather and night flying; and not working on rostered days off.
A spokeswoman for Rex confirmed that the industrial action had resulted in 12 delayed flights on Monday and last Friday.
The spokeswoman also said that 95 per cent of issues have been settled and that only 2 to 3 per cent of pilots were partaking in the industrial action.
“AFAP has displayed bad faith in undertaking industrial action while good progress is being made,” the spokeswoman said.
“Rex will continue the good faith negotiations. As for the protected industrial action undertaken, Rex will be undertaking contingency plans to mitigate the impact to our customers.”
The AFAP and Rex have been negotiating for a new enterprise agreement since late 2013.
While there has been some progress, recent changes to rostering practices have resulted in some pilots spending up to five nights in a row away from their homes and families.
Rex pilots have traditionally accepted lower salaries than the industry standard in return for coming home each night.
The AFAP has applied for assistance from the Fair Work Commission. A fourth conciliation meeting is scheduled for next week.

Story sourced from

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