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Pilots return to work, wage talks with Qantas to resume

The ACCC sued Qantas in August after the watchdog claimed the airline engaged in deceptive conduct.

The ACCC sued Qantas in August after the watchdog claimed the airline engaged in deceptive conduct. Photo: AAP

Hundreds of Qantas pilots are back at work after a strike over a long-running pay dispute caused dozens of flights to be cancelled in Western Australia.

Network Aviation and the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) are set to resume wage negotiations next week, with more than 200 pilots employed by the Qantas subsidiary demanding a 50 per cent pay hike.

They have not ruled out further industrial action after walking off the job for 24 hours on Wednesday.

The strike left thousands of travellers without flights when Qantas was forced to cancel more than 40 scheduled services to regional towns and mine sites.

Qantas has offered a 25 per cent pay increase but the pilots say that would only bring them up to the legal minimum under the award.

They want an increase comparable to the salary received by other Qantas pilots flying similar aircraft around the country.

AFAP senior industrial officer Chris Aikens said the union would “explore every possible opportunity to make progress towards an agreement”.

“Network Aviation’s pilots are simply asking for something that is affordable and sustainable for the company and its workforce,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

Wage negotiations between Network Aviation and its pilots have been at a standstill since March.

The pilots have agreed to suspend further industrial action until after the meeting.

Network Aviation operates more than 500 flights a week, taking the resource sector’s FIFO workers to and from regional towns and mines across WA.

Topics: Qantas
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