Unions stand firm in face of AvSec bullying

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Unions are preparing to go to court to stop the Aviation Security Service staging an 8-day lockout which would cause chaos and endanger security at New Zealand’s main airports.

The PSA and E Tū remain hopeful they can reach a deal at next week’s mediation, despite AvSec’s refusal to withdraw its lockout notices.

Lawyers for the two unions believe the notices are illegal and have told AvSec they will be seeking an injunction to stop the lockouts from going ahead.

"AvSec’s bullying tactics will not deter our members from seeking a fair deal that respects the work they do," PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says.

"The take-it-or-leave-it offer they’ve made to our members will deliver less than $10 a week in our members’ back pockets after 3 years, and part-timers will be worse off.

"These are law enforcement officers with responsibility for national security, and they’re working under huge pressure - they’re not asking for a lot."

Unions believe the threat of lockouts put national security at risk, and they’re heartened by support from the New Zealand Airline Pilots’ Association.

"The Civil Aviation Authority has a statutory duty to deliver safe skies to New Zealanders," E tū National Organiser Kelvin Ellis says.

"We don’t believe AvSec or the CAA can muster sufficient cover for our airports during an 8-day lockout.

"We are going into next week’s mediation ready to do a deal.

"We hope that despite AvSec’s intimidating behaviour, they are ready to negotiate - and make an offer that respects our members’ work."