Pilot wins meal break battle with Jetstar

JOSH MARTIN
Last updated 08:01 26/02/2014

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Christchurch-based pilot Robert Greenslade has won an Employment Court battle with Jetstar over meal and rest breaks.

Jetstar's lawyers told the Court if the airline had to give its pilots meal and rest breaks during flights or on the tarmac, it would affect operations and financial performance to the point where the budget carrier may exit New Zealand.

Greenslade had wanted to take rest and meal breaks in accordance with his employment contract and the Employment Relations Act.

Jetstar told the Court implementing the breaks on its domestic and trans-Tasman flights, which have turnaround times or 30 minutes and 40 minutes, respectfully, would affect scheduling, increase costs and affect revenues.

The court ruled against Jetstar, saying the airline breached its employment agreement with Greenslade.

Possible compensation and costs were to be determined through mediation between Jetstar and Greenslade.

Greenslade's lawyer Rodney Harrison QC said the low-cost, low-yield model that Jetstar operates was no more of an excuse to flout legal requirements than it would be for a garment sweatshop operator.

Despite finding in Greenslade's favour regarding the employment conditions breach, the Court ruled the two sides mediate to a solution to rest and meal breaks.

Greenslade is still flying for Jetstar.

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