Yesterday, National’s Kate Wilkinson tried to use a dispute over how to apply the new rest breaks law for air traffic controllers as a pretext for taking away our right to rest and meal breaks.
She tried to paint the dispute over breaks as being about union intransigence, with the “Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) unwilling to continue the flexible breaks system employed at regional airports.” This, she argued, showed the need to weaken the law. Turns out she wasn’t telling the full story.
Over at Red Alert, Trevor Mallard sets the record straight:
Controllers have offered to take their breaks when no planes are scheduled and to carry devices so they can be called back in an emergency. Their industrial agreement has always had a safety clause in it and has worked well.
Some idiot from CAA has said they all have to have their breaks at the same time. He said pilots won’t understand if it is different at different airports nothwithstanding the fact that that has always been the case and that towers are open at different times all round the country.
This backs up what the head of ALPA was saying on Radio NZ this morning – the union had come to an agreement with employers before the Government’s own Civil Aviation Authority issued its idiotic directive.
Perhaps Kate should look closer to home before lying about industrial disputes as a pretext to steal our rights.