Get ready for more than a week of pain if you’re flying in or out of Australia, with strikes hitting international airports at peak times.
Border Force and immigration staff downed tools for two hours this morning in all capital cities, orchestrated by the Community and Public Sector Union, and another strike is planned this afternoon.
Immi & Border workers angry about $8000 pay cut in new agreement. Strike action causing delays around Aust. pic.twitter.com/3iAkux5hpf— CPSU (@CPSUnion) September 20, 2015
Community and Public Sector Union Secretary Nadine Flood said workers were protesting against salary cuts of up to $8000 a year.
"These people are hard working mums and dads who are worried about how they'll pay their mortgage and bills if their pay goes down $8000, which many of them will face," Flood said.
— Annette Jones (@AnnetteJonesBiz) September 20, 2015
"We'll see how people will react to this strike but generally speaking, people think Border Force and immigration do a pretty important job and when you explain to them the proposed pay cuts, they're pretty understanding."
Flood was in Sydney for this morning's strike and said there were "considerable delays" but it wasn't just airport passengers that would be affected.
"It's also cruise ship arrivals at the ports, container inspection and on Thursday, other Commonwealth areas like Centrelink, the tax office, Medicare and others will be on a half-day strike," Flood said.
She said they'd asked former Minister for Employment Eric Abetz to meet and had written to new minister Michaelia Cash.
"Eric Abetz hasn't spoken to us since January 2014 despite us repeatedly asking," Flood said.
"We're calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to make this a priority."
The two-hour strikes are set to last for another nine days at morning and evening peak times.
Border Force Acting Deputy Commissioner of Operations Stephen Allen recommended passengers allow for extra time to check in.
“We are continuing to work closely with our partner agencies to minimise impacts on operations,” he said in a statement.
If you want to make your trip a little easier, here's how to travel without check-in luggage.Suggest a correction