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Lockout possible in aviation dispute

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/07/2016

Auckland Airport © Bloomberg Auckland Airport The Aviation Security Service has activated a contingency plan in case large numbers of airport security workers go ahead with strike action later this month.

The workers will take part in last-ditch talks on July 15 to try and avoid a major strike which could cause headaches for travellers.

Both the Public Service and E Tu unions have agreed to attend mediation to try and resolve an ongoing stoush around how much the workers are paid.

But the strike notices for industrial action at three airports later this month will remain in place.

Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports could be affected by the planned strike action, which coincides with the busy school holiday period.

Avsec acting chief executive John Kay said if mediation failed, a lockout would be put in place, with striking PSA and E Tu members locked out from their work places from July 20.

The authority's national contingency plan would involve trained staff from other government agencies replacing striking workers, but details were confidential, he said.

Two previous pay offers had already been offered by Avsec but had been rejected by both unions, he said.

Under a three-year offer presented by Avsec, the authority proposed getting rid of workers' transport allowances but increasing salaries by $2000, increasing KiwiSaver and overtime rates.

Civil Aviation Authority spokeswoman Karen Urwin said Avsec was at the end of its "financial envelope".

However she said if the workers had other concerns besides pay rates, it was possible those could be resolved through mediation.

"I guess it's just a question of how open minded everybody wants to be."

She said travel delays were possible if the strike went ahead - even with the contingency plan in place - as school holidays were always a busy travel period.

Both domestic and international passengers could face delays and Transport Minister Simon Bridges said the unions have planned the strike action to cause "maximum disruption".

Mr Bridges said a third union representing workers settled some time ago and the offer that's on the table for PSA and E Tu members is a strong one.

"I can certainly tell you, from what I've seen, that the offers made are at the upper end of offers made within the state sector," he said.



July 20, 10am - 1.30pm

July 25, 3.30pm - 6.30pm

July 27, 5.30am - 8.30am


July 20, 10am - 1.30pm

July 22, 3.30pm - 6.30pm

July 26, 5.30am - 8.30am


July 20, 25, 27: Overtime/extra hours banned all day

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