Passengers across Australia can expect delays at the country’s eight international airports because of industrial stoppages from Monday.
Strikes by Department of Immigration and Border Protection staff are expected to cause a week of disruptions.
The employees, including those from Border Force, began the protected industrial action in Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia on Wednesday and plan more until Wednesday next week.
Staff processing departing and arriving travellers on international flights are prepared to stop work for two hours twice a day during morning and afternoon peaks in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Coolangatta and Cairns.
Border staff are increasingly angry over a pay proposal of 3.4 per cent over three years that effectively cuts wages and leaves some workers $8000 a year worse off, the Community and Public Sector Union says.
“These men and women work in important, difficult and sometimes dangerous jobs to keep all Australians safe and they deserve better treatment from the government,” CPSU secretary Nadine Flood said on Saturday.
It is unclear how the recently merged Department of Immigration and Border Protection will meet the shortfall in staff during the strikes.
“The department has in place contingency arrangements to protect Australia’s borders and minimise impacts on the public and industry,” a spokeswoman told AAP.
The union says the department is planning to fly large teams of managers from interstate to act as “strike breakers” at airports.
“They’re turning heavy-handed tactics on their own workforce,” Ms Flood said.
* September 21
Sydney International Airport, Melbourne International Airport, Brisbane International Airport, Gold Coast Airport, Cairns International Airport, Adelaide Airport, Perth Airport (international terminal), Darwin Airport
* September 22
Sydney International Airport, Brisbane International Airport, Gold Coast Airport, Cairns International Airport, Townsville Airport, Perth Airport, Adelaide Airport, Darwin Airport
* September 23
Melbourne International Airport, Brisbane International Airport, Gold Coast Airport, Cairns International Airport, Adelaide Airport, Perth Airport (international terminal), Darwin Airport.