Australian transport unions are gearing up for a major campaign in support of Air New Zealand flight attendants fighting for equal pay.
The mostly young workers, members of the EPMU are in dispute with Air New Zealand and their contractor Zeal. At one stage the company locked the workers out. The employer is now back at the negotiating table, but the EPMU has asked for Australian union solidarity if the talks fail.
"The dispute revolves around the use of a holding company called Zeal 320 Ltd," said Paul Tolich, EPMU. "Our members do the same work, wear the same uniforms and fly to the same destinations but are paid thousands of dollars a year less. Zeal 320 only exists to keep our members on lower terms and conditions."
ITF unions in New Zealand have been backing cabin crew members.
Meanwhile the union took out full-page attack ads against Air New Zealand in major daily newspapers, the EPMU has taken the PR war over the Zeal pay dispute online with youtube videos in support of striking cabin crew.
Zeal flies short-haul trans-Tasman and Pacific routes.