Cruise ships to visit New South Wales and Queensland ports may be affected by strikes, planned for the coming Australian school holidays.
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), which includes Immigration and Border Force workers, is planning its “most intense and widespread strike action” for the period between Monday September 26 and Sunday October 2, falling right in the middle of the school holidays for most states.
During the proposed strike period, three cruise ships including the Pacific Pearl and Pacific Jewel will be affected in Sydney, while in Queensland, the Pacific Aria, Pacific Dawn and Sun Princess are set to port too. The Dawn Princess’s itinerary passes through both NSW and Queensland ports during that time period, while other ports are minimally affected since their cruise season is yet to begin in earnest. Passengers also connecting with flights should be aware of potential delays in airports as well.
Rather than simply not turning up for work, instead the CPSU plan involves its members walking off the job for multiple 30-minute intervals, every day of the strike period.
The CPSU has argued that the strike (and a similar one that took place in August) is in response to a “1000-day dispute” during which members have been fighting for a 1 per cent pay rise per year and have instead been facing alleged pay cuts for many of them.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has responded in a statement, saying that its own contingency plans have been put in place “to ensure Australia’s borders remain protected and the impact on business, stakeholders and the travelling public are minimised.” Cruise Passenger has been told that alternative manpower is organised in these cases to step in when needed, and that the August strike actually caused only minor delays.
The Department is planning for “business as usual” but advises travellers to arrive early for travel and immigration procedures to be safe.