Perth airport workers rally to protest pay, conditions

Perth airport workers rally to protest pay, conditions

SECURITY incidents at Perth Airport have been revealed as staff across the country rally for better pay and conditions.

The Transport Workers’ Union said in once instance passengers at Perth Airport were allowed airside to collect their baggage after a baggage handler was left alone to unload an entire aircraft.

It also claimed staff had been forced back to work while still injured and even forced to sleep at airports between grueling split shifts.

Perth’s rally coincided with protests at airports in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and the Gold Coast, all aimed at securing better pay rates and more guaranteed hours.

Up to 200 employees were expected to rally across the five cities, but the union has stressed it’s not about disrupting flights.

“We’re not intending to cause disruption and our protesters won’t be walking off the job, there won’t be any strikes,” union spokeswoman Judith Crosbie told AAP.

The protests are part of a bigger union campaign for better conditions in more than 200 pay deals in the road and air transport sectors, which are due to run out next June.

“Behind the shiny facades of our airports lies an appalling reality for airport workers,” TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said.

“They are kept constantly desperate for more hours and struggle to support their families on low rates.

“Thousands of workers at Swissport/Aerocare have been ripped off their wages for seven years and have even been forced to sleep at airports between grueling split shifts.

“Airports are profiting from this because they are allowing companies to win contracts on the basis of the lowest possible cost.

“They are failing to take into account efficiency, safety and fair working conditions. Airport workers are today saying enough is enough.”