Aircraft refuellers at Australia's Perth Airport have announced to go on a strike over the Australian Football League (AFL) grand final weekend, in protest against pay cuts and working conditions.
The strike follows after the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and Shell Australia-owned ZIP Airport Services failed to reach a decision on a new workplace agreement. The previous contract between the parties had expired on 30 April this year.
The strike is expected to disrupt the travel plans of thousands of football enthusiasts heading to Melbourne for the Western Derby Grand Final scheduled on 3 October.
Transport Workers Union of Australia state secretary Tim Dawson was quoted by ABC news as saying that ZIP Airport Services was "refusing to sit down and talk to us.
"They've disrespected the general public and especially the footy fans of West Australia who want to go to the Grand Final next week with no disruption.
"If there's stoppages at the airport, then people who want to fly to the Grand Final may have problems getting to the Grand Final."
Meanwhile, Shell spokesman Paul Zennaro was quoted by the news agency as saying: "Last week, Shell offered the union the opportunity to go to conciliation with the Fairwork Commission.
"This offer was flatly rejected by the TWU.
The workforce in question is the highest paid refuelling operators at Perth airport and already earn well above community expectations."
However, the airport is expected to implement a contingency plan which will seek to minimise disruption to refuelling services, reported The Australian Times.
Last week, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection employees called for a ten-day strike at Australia's eight international airports causing major flight delays and operational disruptions.