Dnata and Menzies deal averts industrial action


Dnata catering staff and Menzies ground handlers have called off a vote on industrial action after securing pay rises and job security protections.

The TWU’s national secretary, Michael Kaine, said the raise and improvements to job security would make a “huge difference” to workers who’ve been under “immense financial pressure”.

The news also averts any more potential disruption for Qantas passengers, as well as those flying with other airlines.

The Flying Kangaroo outsourced 2,000 in-house ground handling roles to third-party companies, including Dnata, Menzies and Swissport last year.

While the Federal Court twice ruled that decision breached the Fair Work Act, it eventually decided those employees won’t be able to get their old jobs back and instead must accept compensation.

Dnata catering staff will receive between a 7.5 per cent and 8 per cent pay increase over two years, including backpay to January 2022 when flying resumed.

Menzies ground workers in Victoria and NSW, meanwhile, have locked down a commitment from the company to ‘insource’ all currently outsourced operations and increase minimum part-time hours.

Workers are also to receive an 11 per cent pay increase by January 2023 also including backpay.

The TWU said the agreement would also provide greater opportunities for employees to move from labour hire to full-time positions and have secured improvements to overtime payments.

Both Dnata and Menzies workers have also gained enhanced consultation rights, giving them a say in workplace changes before they are set to happen.

It comes after Dnata ground handlers called off this week’s planned 24-hour strike after securing an immediate 12.6 per cent pay rise.

The TWU said the deal also stopped “attempts to scale back overtime entitlements” and would amount to a 17 per cent pay increase over four years.

Workers had been due to strike on Monday in a move that would have caused huge disruption for Qantas international passengers, as well as those flying with Emirates and Etihad.

Dnata provides services to 30 airlines at six airports and employs 1,700 staff.

The business was controversially denied JobKeeper in 2020 because it’s owned by the Emirates Group, which is in turn run by the state government of Dubai.

Foreign government ownership was one of many exemptions to the COVID-19 payments.

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