Air New Zealand averts pre-Christmas strike

Air New Zealand has reached an agreement with the unions representing its aircraft maintenance and logistics workers.

The agreement includes the lifting of strike notices that threatened to disrupt travel for 120,000 customers over the three busiest travel days of the year.

Three days of mediated negotiations concluded last night with the parties reaching an agreement that the unions will now take to their members to vote on.

The unions, Aviation and Marine Engineers Association (AMEA) and E tū, called for the industrial action in response to the airline’s low offer and requests for cuts to sick leave and overtime.

E tū said in a statement that members core aims have largely been achieved.

“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,” E tū’s aviation head said, according to the NZ Herald.

“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.”

Air New Zealand Chief Ground Operations Officer Carrie Hurihanganui said the airline has been very focused on achieving resolution on behalf of its customers who can now be reassured their Christmas holiday travel plans are secure.

“We know how important it is to our customers to get where they need to be, particularly at this special time of the year and the negotiating teams have been working diligently to achieve this result.”

Hurihanganui said the airline is unable to discuss details of the agreement as the unions now need to communicate it to their members and achieve ratification.

She acknowledged the good faith in which the negotiations had been conducted in helping achieve this outcome for travellers.