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Strikes ‘won’t affect airport security’

Sydney [AAP]

National security at airports will not be affected when border force, immigration and quarantine staff walk off the job on Wednesday, their union says.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has resumed rolling strikes at international and domestic airports around the country a week after industrial action planned for Easter was called off in the wake of the Brussels terror attacks.

That followed a direct request from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asking the union to cease its action. However, at the time he stressed that airport security would not be affected regardless.

The national secretary of the CPSU, Nadine Flood, reiterated that stance on Wednesday, saying that officers involved in national security had always been exempt from striking.

‘As the prime minister acknowledged last week, this industrial action by border protection and agriculture staff does not risk people’s security, national security or counter-terrorism efforts,’ she told the Seven Network on Wednesday.

She said workers were striking as a last resort, as part of a two-year negotiating battle with the federal government over pay and work conditions.

Along with airport staff, last week saw stop-work action from workers at Medicare and Centrelink.

In his appeal to the union, Mr Turnbull urged striking workers to pursue their complaints through different means. However, Ms Flood said contact with the government over the past week hadn’t produced results.

‘At this point, government has not talked to us since last October last year,’ she said.

‘We suspended for a week. Now, we are hoping they will talk.’

Affected airports

* Sydney International Airport (5am-1pm, 4pm-midnight)

* Perth Airport (3am-11am, 4pm-midnight)

* Adelaide Airport (5am-1pm, 4pm-midnight)

* Brisbane International Airport (midnight-1am)

* Cairns International Airport (4am-midday, 5pm-midnight)

* Townsville Airport (4pm-midnight)

* Darwin Airport (2am-10am, 1pm-9pm)


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