30 Mar 2009

Air NZ accused of advertising for strike-breakers

4:15 pm on 30 March 2009

Air New Zealand is openly seeking strike-breakers as an Easter holiday stoppage by some airline flight attendants looms, a trade union says.

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union is angry at advertisements placed by recruitment company Hudson for flight attendants who may work on the same services that would be affected by the strike.

The large colour advertisement by Hudson Managed Services carries the Air New Zealand logo and says Hudson is talking with the airline over providing crews on trans-Tasman and Pacific A320 services.

The EPMU represents flight attendants on the threatened trans-Tasman and Pacific Islands services and is urging members to swamp Hudson with bogus applications or e-mails urging it to stop strike-breaking.

Hudson is referring media inquiries to Air New Zealand, but the airline says it will not be making any comment on the advertisement.

The union and Air New Zealand have been in mediation talks over a pay claim by attendants employed on Airbus A320 aircraft on short-haul international services.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says he has never encountered such a naked and blatant move by an employer.

"This is a pretty belligerent and aggressive action on the part of any employer to do this. We've been in touch with our colleagues and other unions who cover the work, including those who might be called upon to train them. They have pledged their support."

Mr Little says he hopes to resume talks on Tuesday with Air New Zealand over the pay dispute.

In the meantime, union lawyers are looking at the job advertisements.