STRIKES: Customs & Qantas unions causing travel delays this week

By John Walton, September 28 2011
STRIKES: Customs & Qantas unions causing travel delays this week

With airport strikes by both Customs and Qantas staff across Australia, this is not a good week to be travelling domestically or internationally.

Expect flight cancellations and delays, make sure your electronic devices are fully charged to while away the time or keep in touch with people expecting you at the other end, and perhaps bring a book to keep you occupied.

Here's the Australian Business Traveller roundup of the news so far this week, plus what's to come:

Customs strikes

Around 3000 Customs staff struck on Tuesday at Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airports, with delays reported of up to two hours for arriving international flights.

More Customs strikes are expected at Cairns and Sydney tomorrow (Thursday) and Saturday, according to the Herald Sun, while the Customs union has also threatened more industrial action from October 5-8.

Qantas strikes

50 Qantas Transport Workers Union (TWU) delegates will strike on Thursday, while 3,800 TWU members will stage a wider one-hour strike on Friday.

Qantas is scrambling to avoid a situation where football fans heading to Melbourne for the AFL Grand Final, rugby league fans heading to Sydney for the NRL Grand Final and families travelling for the school holidays and long weekend are all delayed together in airports.

Further strikes are also planned by Qantas unions in October, with Steve Purvinas from the engineers' union warning that Qantas passengers shouldn't book tickets from October 10 onwards.


John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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