REX unaffected by industrial action

THE pilots union has said Regional Express (Rex) passengers will not be affected by industrial action planned for Friday.

Australian Federation of Air Pilots industrial officer Joanne McCarthy said the industrial action will force the airline to buy fuel at regional airports

"We have advised our members and have given a notice of intention to commence action from one minute past midnight on Friday 9 March and continue indefinitely," Ms McCarthy said.

"The industrial action we've planned is a period of bans on the tankering of fuel out of any port except where fuel is not commercially available."

Rex runs daily flights between Ballina and Sydney, Lismore and Sydney and Ballina and Newcastle. Ms McCarthy said commuters would not notice the industrial action.

"We've got members across all states where Regional Express operates but we can't see any impact on commuters in terms of disruption of services," Ms McCarthy said

The union has said base pay rates for Rex pilots are 20% lower than at Qantaslink.

They have called for a new enterprise agreement that includes a wage increase in line with the consumer price index.

However the company is refusing to increase its offer.

The union has previously warned that unless their wage demands are met it could launch stop-work meetings or continue action in other areas of the airline's operations.

In a statement last week Rex announced a net profit for the six months to December 31, 2011, of $13.4 million, up 52.3% from the previous period.

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