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31 January 2016

For Immediate Release

Rex Pilots to Stop Work on Monday

With impending work stoppages on Monday morning, pilots at Regional Express were unable to reach agreement with their employer in a Fair Work Commission conference late on Friday.

A four hour work stoppage will now proceed at all bases on Monday 1 February, commencing at 5.00am and ceasing at 9.00am (local time) 

Following this stoppage, pilots will engage in further industrial action for the rest of that day. This will involve refusing to depart any aircraft with a deferred defect, typically a majority of the fleet, as well as a refusal to work on a day off.

Simon Lutton, Executive Director of the Australian Federation of Air Pilots, says that “Members have been left with little choice but to exercise their right to take industrial action. If we thought another option was available to us, we would take it.” 

While Rex gave some positive signs this week, it took a lot to even reach that point, and they are still well short of the lifestyle guarantees we are seeking.” 

To cover long standing pilot shortages in some bases, in recent years, Rex has been sending pilots interstate on trips of up to 5 nights. This has greatly increased since early 2015, and, when combined with the usual overnight trips taken by pilots, has had a major impact on work/life balance. 

“With a new operation commencing shortly in Western Australia, we see no end to this practice, in fact it is likely to get worse.”

“We understand that some time away from home is part of the job, we are simply seeking to set limits to give pilots some guarantee of work/life balance.”

“Our proposals still give the Company flexibility to roster multiple overnight trips, just with some sensible limits in place.”

The AFAP and Regional Express have been negotiating for a new enterprise agreement since late 2013. A regional airline career draws a lower salary, and provides considerably fewer days off per month than major airline pilots, with the attraction being a more family friendly lifestyle. Pilots are seeking limitations on the number of overnights they can be required to perform.

To progress negotiations, the AFAP applied for the assistance of the Fair Work Commission. A 5th conciliation conference is being planned for later this week.

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The AFAP is the largest industrial and professional association representing Australian commercial air pilots.

Please direct media enquiries to: James Lauchland, AFAP Industrial/Legal Officer M 0401 977 755 E


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