Dubai's Dnata to continue negotiating with Australian workers' union to avoid strikes at airports

‘We are disappointed we have been unable to reach an agreement despite offering reasonable pay increases’



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Sahim Salim

Published: Mon 5 Sep 2022, 4:40 PM

Dubai-based global air and travel services firm Dnata will “continue to negotiate” with the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) in Australia to reach an agreement that avoids industrial action.

A Dnata (ground handling and cargo) spokesperson told Khaleej Times in a statement: “We are disappointed that we have been unable to reach an agreement with the bargaining representatives to date, despite offering reasonable pay increases and higher average earnings than our competitors. We have also made numerous attempts to engage with the TWU to hold further discussions, however they have shown little willingness to try to bridge the divide on the outstanding issues.”

This came after local media reported that baggage services across several Australian airports are set to be impacted when ground handling staff walk off the job on Monday, September 12.

The Dnata spokesperson said it is committed to ensuring that employees are “appropriately” compensated. “Despite the challenging business environment, we have been offering our staff a highly competitive pay proposal throughout the negotiations. We need to ensure that our operations are financially sustainable and we can continue to invest in training, infrastructure and equipment to be able to deliver consistent quality and safe services across our operations.”

Dnata clarified that only a “part of our team” are TWU members. “There is also no guarantee that just because an employee is a member of the Union, they will take industrial action even if the union seeks to. We continue to directly engage with our employees to discuss with them the position of our business and the value which is on offer as part of our wages proposal, and are hopeful that even if industrial action is pursued by the union it will not be strongly supported by our employees.”

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The TWU’s “recent activities” add to the existing challenges in the aviation industry, “increasing the risk of disruption to the plans of thousands of Australian travellers in an extremely busy travel period”.

“We are working closely with our valued airline partners across Australia to keep them informed on the situation.”


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