Jetstar cancels a quarter of flights ahead of Wednesday strike action

Jetstar has cancelled around a quarter of its domestic flights scheduled for Wednesday in preparation for an all-day strike by ground crew and baggage handlers amid a bitter standoff over pay and conditions.

The Transport Workers Union told the airline on Friday that about 250 of its members would walk off the job for 24 hours at Sydney, Melbourne, Avalon, Brisbane, Cairns and Adelaide airports starting Wednesday morning.

The 24-hour strike comes after the TWU held two-hour stop works in December. Credit:Justin McManus

Jetstar on Monday confirmed it had cancelled 48 domestic flights – out of about 200 it operates daily – to "minimise the impact" of the stop-work. Other flights have been consolidated and some passengers have been moved onto flights operated by its parent airline Qantas.

A Jetstar spokeswoman said all passengers booked to travel on Wednesday would arrive at their destination on the same day and that most passengers on impacted flights would travel "within a few hours" of their original flight. International flights have not been affected.

"We contacted affected customers over the weekend to advise them of their new flight details and we thank them for their flexibility," the spokeswoman said.

Passengers booked to travel on Wednesday have been able to cancel their flight for a full refund or move their booking forward to an earlier date at no extra cost.

Wednesday's strike is an escalation of industrial action by the TWU, after it held two-hour work stoppages in December which caused 28 flight cancellations.

The TWU and Jetstar are at loggerheads as they negotiate a new wage agreement.

The union says its members face irregular working hours, and a key sticking point has been its demand for a guaranteed minimum of 30 hours of work each week.

Jetstar has said it has made an offer that included a 3 per cent pay rise, with a year's backpay, as well as roster benefits.

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