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Air New Zealand Urges Cabin Crew to Call off Strike

Travel News Asia 12 November 2002

Air New Zealand is calling on the long-haul cabin crew members of FARSA (Flight Attendants and Related Services Association) to reconsider their decision to call a 14 hour strike.

The airline has received notice this morning that members of the Association employed by Air New Zealand propose to strike from 00.00 hours on Wednesday November 27 until 14.00 hours on the same day. The routes likely to be affected will be morning flights to Australia and Asia.

Air New Zealand says its main focus at this point is to work towards a resolution of the dispute to ensure passengers' travel plans are not disrupted. The airline will begin contingency planning to establish the degree of disruption the strike action will cause and to find ways to minimise it.

Air New Zealand's Senior Vice President, Customer Services, Brendan Fitzgerald, says the company has been working to ensure a smooth transition as the airline moves into its busier summer international schedule. This has required the hiring of more than 50 new cabin crew to service increased frequency on some international routes.

In addition, long-haul cabin crew and the airline have been working closely to address roster issues. A workshop has been held with more than 100 crew  attending, followed by a survey attracting more than of more than 350 responses as part of a joint problem solving approach to some of the lifestyle issues being raised by crew. Additional crew are also expected to be required as part of these changes.

The roster review group has now presented its recommendations and those proposals have been accepted by the airline.

"Air New Zealand is working closely with its work force to solve problems, and will continue to do so," said Mr Fitzgerald.

"I would invite the Association to accept our offer of mediation to sort this out as soon as possible," he said.

The airline says negotiations to finalise the new collective agreement has seen good progress towards acceptance of a wage pause with fixed pay rises 12, 15 and 18 months further out.

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