Workers at Hobart International Airport are considering strike action following a sub par wage offer put to them by their employer, MSS Security.
United Workers Union (UWU) members at MSS work in security and screening. Any industrial action undertaken by these workers would likely cause huge disruptions to flights and travel.
MSS, which is wholly owned by an Indian-based firm called SIS Ltd, has offered workers a two percent pay increase, which falls short of inflation.
Both MSS and the airport are extremely profitable entities, with MSS in Australia reporting a revenue of $655 million last financial year.
UWU coordinator Damien Davie said that it was unconscionable that MSS would refuse workers a fair pay rise, especially considering that Hobart airport workers were paid far less than their mainland counterparts.
“For MSS to call our wages claim unrealistic and untenable shows a total lack of respect for workers at Hobart airport,” Mr Davie said.
“Aviation screeners and guards in Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth recently received increase big increases and they already enjoyed pay and conditions way above than what those in Hobart receive.
“That’s why some of our members are starting to talk seriously about strike action. And if MSS and the airport don’t want to put a black mark against Tasmania’s sacred tourism industry, I suggest they return to the bargaining table with an offer more aligned with community expectations.”
A security officer at the airport, Denise Geason said she was sick and tired of struggling to make ends meat when those doing the exact same job on the mainland were on far more comfortable wages.
“Guards on the mainland are on wages and conditions of up to fifty percent more than us at Hobart Airport for doing the same work,” Ms Geason said.
“We deserve better and we are willing to fight for better.”
UWU members at MSS have been bargaining for a year and were resolved in improving wages and conditions at the airport.