Category: Aviation

Air NZ: We have a deal

After three days of mediation, the unions representing Air New Zealand Logistics and Engineering workers have reached agreement in principle with company representatives.

Talks concluded at Air NZ HQ at 10pm tonight. As a result, the three one-day strike notices on 21, 22, and 23 December have been lifted. The members core aims have largely been achieved, however specific details about the offer will not be released until union members have been briefed.

E tū’s Head of Aviation, Savage, says that travellers will no doubt be relieved and should be reassured that Air New Zealand Engineers and logistics workers are dedicated professionals.

“Industrial action of this nature is always a last resort and so it’s a positive sign that we’ve reached an agreement in principle,” Savage says.

“Unions are democratic organisations so the most important next step is communicating with our members. We will be recommending the deal to members at ratification meetings over the coming week – then it’s up to the members to discuss and vote on the company offer.

“While the process has been tense at times, it is a much improved offer from where we started and maintains standards in Aviation. I want to acknowledge the union negotiating teams, especially the delegates, for getting us to this point.

“Air New Zealand and the four employee unions have a union management partnership. We still disagree, sometimes publicly. But at the heart of that partnership is a commitment to keep working on solutions and maintain productive communication with each other. We have witnessed that this week.”

“We have ongoing work to do to improve things at Engineering and E tū members as the largest union group within Air New Zealand are committed to that happening.”

ENDS

Air NZ strike details: three days from 21 Dec

The unions representing Air New Zealand Engineering and Logistics workers confirm that last week they issued three full-day strike notices for 21, 22, and 23 December.

Last week union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in response to the company’s low offer and requests for cuts to sick leave and overtime.

E tū and the AMEA remain in mediation with the company. On Monday, union delegates and officials worked with the company late into the night to try and reach an agreement. E tū is committed to this process and to reaching a deal that meets the interests of both our members and the travelling public.

Savage, Head of Aviation at E tū, says “The decision to issue strike notices was not taken lightly. While the bargaining team is trying hard to get a workable offer, the union members are steadfast in their commitment to taking industrial action if necessary.

“We will keep on talking about possible solutions.”

ENDS

Savage is the union spokesperson on this issue. He will continue in mediation with Air New Zealand but may get time for short phone interviews. Please send him a text message to arrange: 027 590 0074.

E tū Aviation commemorates air tragedies

November 28th is the day for all New Zealanders to stop and think about the importance of aviation safety.

New Zealand’s largest aviation union, E tū is today commemorating two aviation tragedies which happened on the same day 29 years apart.

In 1979, an Air New Zealand scenic flight over Antarctica crashed into Mt Erebus killing all 257 people on board including 20 crew.

E tū aviation members and union representatives will attend the annual wreath-laying at the Erebus Crew Memorial garden at Auckland Airport this afternoon.

There will be a minute’s silence at 1.49pm (12:49 NZST) – the time the crash occurred.

E tū’s Head of Aviation, Savage says the memorial remembers the crew who died there including 15 cabin crew who never came home from work.

Today is also the 10th anniversary of the crash involving an Air NZ A320 which crashed off the coast of Perpignan in France in 2008.

Five New Zealand aviation workers died in that crash including Air New Zealand engineers Murray White, Michael Gyles and Noel Marsh.

“Just as we honoured the memory of the men who died at Pike River, so we should remember the people who died in the Erebus tragedy and in the A320 crash,” says Savage.

“Air disasters are a tragedy for everyone involved but we should never forget that they are also workplace accidents.

“Our aviation industry connects us to the world. Our entire economy and the lives of workers and passengers alike is dependent on maintaining the highest possible aviation safety standards”.

ENDS

 What: wreath-laying at the Erebus Crew Memorial garden

Where:  Auckland Airport – the memorial is located to the side of the Tom Pearce Drive 300m north of Puhunui Road roundabout

When: 28th November 1.30pm – there is a minute’s silence at the time of impact 1:49 (12:49 NZST)

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Savage E tū Aviation Director ph. 027 590 0074

 

 

E tū “deeply relieved” after flight NZ5018 lands safely

A rare and frightening aviation emergency has ended with crew and passengers safe, after Air New Zealand flight NZ5018’s engine malfunctioned mid-flight.

The engine failure happened shortly after the Napier-Auckland flight took off this afternoon. It touched down safely shortly after.

E tū Head of Aviation Anita Rosentreter has been monitoring the situation and says that the most important thing is that the passengers and crew are safe.

“We are deeply relieved that this incident has ended with a safe landing,” Anita says.

“This will have been a scary experience for the crew and passengers on board. Although this incident will be the subject of a rigorous process to find out exactly what happened, the most important thing for now is that the plane is safely on the tarmac.

“We will be ensuring that our members affected by this emergency have all the support needed to deal with the aftermath.”

Anita says there will be many questions about how this incident occurred and that the union will be closely involved in the process from here.

“We don’t have any further details at this early stage, but we will be representing our members every step of the way.

“Union participation is a vital part of getting health and safety right in any workplace. We are pleased that our relationship with the company means we can work constructively together to minimise risks and respond appropriately when things go wrong.

“This emergency has not become an aviation disaster. I think that’s a huge testament to the crew onboard. One passenger has already been reported in the media saying the flight attendants were ‘brilliant, calm, and reassuring.’ I think that’s the mark of an excellent workforce.”

ENDS

For more information or comment:

Anita Rosentreter 022 240 9638

E tū calls for national memorial ahead of Erebus anniversary

New Zealand’s largest aviation union, E tū is supporting calls by the Erebus families for a national memorial to New Zealand’s biggest aviation disaster.

In 1979, an Air New Zealand scenic flight over Antarctica crashed into Mt Erebus killing all 257 people on board including 20 crew.

Today, E tū aviation representatives will attend the annual wreath-laying at the Erebus Crew Memorial garden at Auckland Airport.

E tū’s Head of Aviation Anita Rosentreter says the memorial remembers the crew who died but there is none with the names of all the victims, which is what the families want.

“We support the families. It’s important we honour the memory of all who died in New Zealand’s worst air disaster,” says Anita.

“This would be a place where the families could reflect on what happened and it would serve as a powerful reminder of the need for vigilance where safety is concerned.”

Anita says a recent incident in which a clipboard was left on the cowling of a Jetstar engine and sucked into the engine during a flight shows there is no room for complacency.

“That incident could have been so much worse. Aviation workers know what they do matters every day in terms of preserving the safety of the public and their colleagues.

“Just as we honour the memory of the men who died at Pike River, so we should remember the people who died in the Erebus tragedy as well.”

What: wreath-laying at the Erebus Crew Memorial garden

Where:  Puhinui Rd at Auckland Airport – the memorial is located to the side of the Tom Pearce Drive

When: 28th November 10.30am

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Anita Rosentreter E tū Aviation Director ph. 022 240 9638

 

 

E tū challenges Aerocare over standards after Jetstar clip-board incident

E tū Aviation is challenging the aviation ground crew company, Aerocare to reveal its training regime and working conditions after a clip-board was sucked into the engine of a Jetstar plane serviced by the company.

The clip-board had been left on the cowling of the plane in Auckland.  The plane headed to Sydney but returned to Auckland after debris was seen coming from one of its engines.

The Head of E tū Aviation, Kelvin Ellis says the union is “shocked and concerned to hear about this incident which is unacceptable and should never have happened.

“It doesn’t happen with an airline with proper systems,” says Kelvin who says Aerocare needs to justify its training standards and working conditions.

“We wonder what training Aerocare is providing for its workers, because a clip-board should never have been left near a jet engine. It’s just an unfathomable incident.”

Kelvin says there is also concern about labour practices like split-shifts “which end up being really long shifts because they might work 2-hours at the start of the day and 2 hours at the end of the day. They’re poorly paid and fatigue may be an issue.”

Kelvin says the union would welcome a conversation with Aerocare about improving its training and setting working conditions which are fair and safe for the workers and the travelling public.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Kelvin Ellis E tū Head of Aviation ph. 027 598 5735

E tū Aviation welcomes new Government’s rejection of low wage economy

E tū Aviation has welcomed the new Prime Minister’s call for productive relationships between business and workers, and an end to low pay and its negative economic effects.

In her speech to the Council of Trade Unions yesterday, Jacinda Ardern praised the High-Performance Engagement agreement which E tū and other unions have with Air New Zealand.

“That agreement means business and unions sit down together and help each other with their problems and the results speak for themselves,” says E tū’s Head of Aviation, Kelvin Ellis.

“Working together has saved jobs, ensured good pay and conditions and helped transform Air New Zealand into one of the world’s most successful and profitable airlines.

“The new Government has clearly drawn the lesson that working together benefits all parties, and we’re delighted with its support for this model.”

Kelvin has also welcomed Ms Ardern’s rejection of the low-wage approach of many employers which actually erodes productivity.

“Ms Ardern has correctly made the link between an engaged, well-paid workforce and Air New Zealand’s strong financial position.

“We fully support her message on this: that low wages aren’t simply a problem for low-wage workers, they are a problem for businesses and the economy as a whole.”

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Kelvin Ellis Head of E tū Aviation ph. 027 598 5735

 

 

 

E tū welcomes Emirates’ exit from most trans-Tasman services

E tū, the union for aviation workers has welcomed today’s announcement by Emirates that it is dropping flights out of Auckland to Melbourne and Brisbane.

The announcement follows Emirates decision earlier this year to cease its service between Auckland and Sydney.

E tū’s Head of Aviation, Kelvin Ellis says he expects local cabin crew to benefit as other airlines expand their trans-Tasman capacity.

“Emirates doesn’t employ local cabin crew. It flies its staff in and out of New Zealand. So, we expect this should provide greater opportunities for New Zealand-based cabin crew,” says Kelvin.

“We’re hopeful that as Air New Zealand and Qantas subsidiary, Jet Connect expand their trans-Tasman operations, the result will be more work for cabin crew based in Auckland.

“So, this should be good for jobs,” he says.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Kelvin Ellis E tū Head of Aviation ph. 027 598 5735

Government and Refining NZ to blame for “chaos” at airports

E tū Aviation says it’s appalled the Government and Refining New Zealand have no plan B for disruption to the crucial fuel line between Marsden Point and the rest of the country.

“The result has been days of disruption, with flights cancelled and the plans of thousands of travellers thrown into chaos,” says E tū Aviation spokesperson Kelvin Ellis.

Kelvin says airlines have been dealing with the situation “brilliantly” with strong support for its workforce who are bearing the brunt of abuse from a frustrated public.

“Airlines have plans for this sort of event and they’re doing well looking after their workers.”

But he says the situation has exposed the vulnerability of the country’s sole aviation fuel link.

“It’s incredible neither the Government nor Refining New Zealand have a back-up plan. This is vital infrastructure in a country which depends on tourism, and where people travel constantly.

“To have allowed a situation like this to develop is appalling. The Government can pass the buck onto Refining New Zealand, and shrug off responsibility. But the vulnerability of that line was flagged years ago. There should have been contingency plans.

“It’s just further evidence of the failure of the Government’s “hands-off” approach to key infrastructure which has allowed this situation to happen.”

Meanwhile, Kelvin is appealing for the public to be patient with airlines and their staff as they work to manage a crisis “not of their making”.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Kelvin Ellis E tū Aviation spokesperson ph. 027 598 5735