Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Air NZ bosses threaten to sack striking cabin crew

NZPA media release 1 April 2009 Executives at Air New Zealand are to act as cabin crew for the airline's subsidiary, Zeal 320 Ltd, during next week's planned strike action on trans-Tasman and Pacific routes. Talks between the airline and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) are continuing. Air New Zealand told Radio New Zealand it had 100 fully qualified staff, including top executives who have volunteered to keep planes flying over the Easter period. But the EPMU said it did not believe the airline had staff available to replace striking cabin crew. The airline has an application for an Employment Court injunction due to be heard on Friday. Air New Zealand's group general manager of short-haul airlines, Bruce Parton, said senior staff, including Glen Sowry, who is heading the negotiations, will act as crew on the Zeal 320 flights. Mr Parton said the airline may consider sacking and replacing the 250 Zeal cabin crew if the industrial action is drawn out.

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