Ho, ho, ho… better travel by sleigh

Remember how Jacinda Ardern told Mike Hosking in the 2017 Leaders’ Debate that there will be no strikes under her government?

How exactly is that working out? quote.

Air New Zealand engineers have outlined plans to strike on the airline’s busiest travel day of the year, putting Christmas travel plans at risk for tens of thousands of travellers.

The unions (The Aviation and Marine Engineers Association and E t?) representing Air New Zealand’s aircraft maintenance engineers, aircraft logistics and related staff served a notice of the planned action only four days before Christmas. end quote.

Nobody can say that this is not blatant opportunism on the part of this particular union. Deliberately wrecking people’s Christmas holiday arrangements is completely shameful, but hey, this government is controlled by the unions. What else did anyone expect? Welcome to the 1970s. I will have to dig out my flared trousers and Afghan coat.? quote.

The strike action is set to involve almost 1000 staff members on December 21, and could affect the travel plans of 42,000 customers booked to travel on that day.

The strike action involves a pay dispute, in regard to annual increases in staff pay. end quote.

The thing is, I have a certain amount of sympathy for nurses, and possibly even teachers, but these aircraft engineers are well paid. This is a clear message to the government and the general population that the unions are back in control. Heaven help us all.

The worst thing about this is that a lot of people will have been saving all year for their travel at this time and, because it is the busiest time of year, the chances of getting an alternative flight are slim. The unions know this, of course. That is precisely why they are doing it. quote.

A statement from Air New Zealand said that while the group of engineers has received pay increases annually for the past 12 years, it has so far rejected recent proposals by the airline including an immediate two per cent pay increase followed by a further three per cent increase after 12 months, with a further pay review in mid-2021.

Air New Zealand said the average income of the maintenance engineers, logistics and other staff to strike is $115,000 – and around 170 of them earn more than $150,000. end quote.

You see what I mean. They are not exactly living hand to mouth and, while they are entitled to pay increases like everyone else, are they really entitled to disrupt people’s lives like this? quote.

In addition to the pay concerns, staff are also asking for an extra week of annual leave for employees with five years’ service (taking shift workers to six weeks a year), free reserved car parking spaces within 500 metres of their workplace, and the right to renegotiate terms just prior to the busy Christmas season again next year. end quote.

The sense of entitlement is so bad here, you can smell it and they intend to do this every year… right on Christmas if they don’t get their way. Wonderful. quote.

Air New Zealand General Manager Aircraft Maintenance Viv de Beus described the proposed strike action as extremely disappointing.

“It would be devastating to see the holiday plans of more than 40,000 hardworking Kiwis and international visitors ruined,” de Beus said.

We have only been in negotiations with this group for six weeks so industrial action is entirely premature.?” end quote.

But it is best to strike now, while the iron is hot… and when they can cause maximum disruption.

What disgusts me is that Grant Robertson constantly holds up Air New Zealand as a shining example of a company with outstanding?union and employer relations. What say you now, Grant?

I say Christopher Luxon needs to get off all these working groups that pander to the government and start doing the job he is paid to do, which is to guarantee that passengers’ travel plans are secure. This really will be a blot on the landscape for Air New Zealand if it goes ahead. As for the government, and Cindy’s promise there would be no strikes under her watch: what a joke.

What a joke this government really is.