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Qantas pilots plan 24-hour walkout in possible blow to energy firms

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Sydney Airport as Australia reacts to the new coronavirus Omicron variant in Sydney

By Alasdair Pal

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Pilots at Network Aviation, a subsidiary of Qantas Airways, will go on strike on Oct. 4, the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) said on Thursday, a move that could affect flights to mines and energy projects in Western Australia.

The union has been negotiating with Qantas management over wage policy revisions in the resource-rich state, which is home to large deposits of iron ore and natural gas.

"The AFAP remains committed to reaching an agreement for our members in Western Australia who fly for Qantas subsidiary Network Aviation and is disappointed that we have had to take this action," Senior Industrial Officer Chris Aikens said.

The union represents about 85% of the 250 or so pilots flying for the airline.

More than 99.5% of AFAP pilot members at Network Aviation voted late on Monday to approve several legally protected industrial actions that include work bans and stoppages.

"We're working to try and resolve this and avoid any industrial action," said a spokesperson for QantasLink, an airline brand of Qantas.

"If the union does proceed with industrial action, we have contingency plans to minimise disruption to customers."

The airline has offered the pilots significant pay rises and more guaranteed days off, the spokesperson added.

(Reporting by Alasdair Pal and Lewis Jackson in Sydney; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Clarence Fernandez)

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