January 9, 2005
Air NZ engineering talks to resume
Talks resume in Auckland tomorrow (Tuesday) over the future of Air New Zealand aircraft engineering, with unions saying they will be watching for any attempt by the company to shift the goal posts.
The airline announced on December 19 that it would go ahead with plans to send heavy engine work overseas, but said that it was seriously considering a union proposal to keep wide-body frame maintenance work in New Zealand.
That proposal, developed by the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and the Aviation and Marine Engineers’ Association in conjunction with financial consultants Michael Stiassny and Brendon Gibson of Ferrier Hodgson, followed the airline’s announcement on October 19 that it intended sending all heavy engineering work overseas, with the loss of 617 New Zealand jobs.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said that talks now centred on the unions’ proposal for wide-body engineering.
“Our proposal will cost only $2m a year more than Air New Zealand’s plan, and will keep the work in New Zealand,” he said.
“Air New Zealand engineering workers are proud of the airline’s high safety record and have a reputation as a top-class workforce.
“The current system is tried, tested and reputable. The key question is whether the Air New Zealand board thinks that that is worth $2m a year.”
Last year Air New Zealand carried 11.7m passengers.
The talks will be held in Auckland and are expected to continue through January.