26 October 2011

Australian immigration and customs workers go on strike

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Workers in Australian immigration, customs and border protection jobs will take industrial action tomorrow, potentially leading to travel delays and disruptions for holders of Working Holiday and other Australian visas.

Australia Visa

Australian customs and border protection personnel will go on strike tomorrow over a pay dispute leading to travel delays.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPS) has warned of travel delays on Thursday as its members in the Australian immigration, customs and border protection sector strike over a pay dispute. The action is expected to have particular impact on international travellers, tourists and holders of an Australia visa.

"Employees will stop work  for up to 24 hours at international airports in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne," said Acting Deputy CEO for Customs and Border Protection Jan Dorrington in a statement released today.

"This will have an impact on our operations and could mean delays at international airports for people travelling to or from Australia and there may also be additional wait times for people arriving or departing on cruise ships from the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay, in Sydney.

“The additional delay, while regrettable, is necessary to ensure that the security of our borders is maintained.”

Ms Dorrington has advised people intending to travel to or from Australia on Thursday to proceed to customs and immigration processing as early as possible before their flight or cruise departure.

The strike action is in response to a dispute between the CPSU and customs and border protection authorities over a new enterprise agreement.

"Negotiations between Customs and Border Protection and bargaining representatives for a new enterprise agreement are continuing," Ms Dorrington said.

"Customs and Border Protection continues to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement that is within our budget and the Australian Government Employment Bargaining Framework."

The strike is expected to last for 24 hours and cause minimal disruption to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) currently underway in Perth.


Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people lodge applications with the Australian High Commission.

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