More than 1000 engineers maintaining planes for Qantas, Jetstar and Network Aviation are fighting to end a four-year wage freeze imposed by some of Australia’s best paid executives during the pandemic.

Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) members are asking for a modest 3 per cent pay increase per annum to cover the lost four years.

This is well below the RBA’s expected inflation peak of 7 per cent by the end of the year but would be a step towards getting wage growth back on track for this highly skilled workforce.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Airline engineers have been incredibly patient with airlines, withstanding the brunt of Covid stand downs, redundancies, and four years of wage freezes.  

“The bargaining system should be the engine of wage growth, but it’s broken and not delivering for working people. These workers deserve compensation for the wage freeze they have endured for the last four years.

“Qantas wants workers to take a pay cut and have their families suffer during a cost-of-living crisis while CEO Alan Joyce took home $1.9 million in the 2020/21 financial year.

“The work these engineers do is essential to the safe operation of our airlines. Workers only take industrial action as a last resort but the refusal of the employers to engage on this issue is backing workers into a corner.”