A Qantas catering worker has lost her unfair dismissal claim after being fired for participating in an illegal strike.
As a result of the stopwork, 38 flights departing without meals, including three to New Zealand.
In addition, nine other international flights ended up delayed, four by over two-hours.
Illegal strike action followed dismissal of worker
Loata Petrunic worked for Q-Catering at Sydney Airport for more than two decades.
On June 15 last year, she came to work on her day off to take part in a protest over the dismissal of another employee.
The Fair Work Commission had not authorised the stopwork, however.
Qantas said 7,500 passengers went without an in-flight meal because of the illegal strike, and subsequently issued warnings to 39 of the participants.
Additionally, five others ended up suspended on full pay pending investigations.
On September 19, the airline terminated Petrunic’s employment.
She subsequently filed an unfair dismissal claim after unsuccessfully appealing the decision internally.
Right to strike a human right
According to Australian Unions, the right to strike is an internationally recognised human right.
International charters, of which Australia is a signatory, require governments to ensure that workers have a right to strike.
However, under our current laws, strikes can only happen during bargaining.
At all other times, they are unlawful.