Travellers are bracing for major disruptions across Australian international airports on Monday.
Border Force staff began a strike at midnight as part of industrial action to protect pay and conditions.
About 5000 workers will take part in the Community and Public Sector Union’s 24-hour strike at international airports, ports, mail and cargo centres.
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“Staff will strike for 24 hours at international airports, ports, mail and cargo centres to protest government threats to cut their pay,” CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said, adding that cuts to conditions would cause some workers to lose about $20,000.
Border Force staff who clear passengers and cargo will be involved in the industrial action, but those involved with counter-terrorism and national security will work as usual.
“We don’t want to inconvenience passengers but we would suggest that people get to airports early,” Ms Flood said.
Under the proposed cuts, part of a year-long dispute between the union and the government, allowances for extra duties would be slashed to a standard $2000 payment.
This would decrease many workers’ pay by about $8000, Ms Flood said.
Last week the government offered to lift the pay cap to two per cent, but hasn’t budged on other proposed cuts.