12 December 2018

The Last Strike

On the 22nd and 23rd of December 1984 Air New Zealand flight attendants went out on strike in the days before Christmas. While I accept the right to strike I think going on strike just before Christmas is mean spirited and attack on families and ruining Christmas for some families that will have saved really hard to get together as family for Christmas... At this time of year flights are about families travelling. Why not strike when business people are the majority of people travelling???

However, the strike of 1984 was a bonanza for me... here are some of what I took at Christchurch on the 22nd and 23rd of December 1984 as people tried to find other means of getting to be with family for Christmas. 


  1. As an international airline pilot myself, I have to stand by the engineers striking at this time. The airline has ignored their attempts for any mediation in negotiations, and are refusing to 'meet them in the middle'. So they have provided their legal two weeks notice of PIA (protected industrial action). This gives the airline two entire weeks to work through their difference before the strike.

    Ansett, Virgin and many other airlines have been down this exact road and never actually made it to walking off the job, because the airline comes to their senses and meets half way. Particularly because of the terrible media coverage Air New Zealand have already received and even worse coverage they will receive if it goes ahead!

    The second and third day have come about as the airline has absolutely refused to negotiate. I don't honestly see how the airline thinks they have the upper hand here, as Air New Zealand engineers provide support for many, many airlines in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown, Dunedin etc..

    It will be interesting to see how the airlines work around this, particularly the international airlines in Auckland that rely on Air New Zealand engineers for support.

  2. Couldn't agree more Steve. While i respect what they are striking for. It is absolutely disgusting the time they are! They could potentially ruin thousands of peoples Christmases. And that is just not on! I believe it does not affect Air Nelson or Mount Cook, but I would expect it to have flow on effects. I am flying TRG-HKK via WLG & CHC on the 23rd. Time will tell I guess. :(

    That aside, some stellar pics Steve. Always love seeing the Bandeirantes. They are just the coolest. Used to love flying on them between AKL-HLZ and AKL-GIS. I remember a AKL-BHE flight on one, which felt like a long time.

  3. And here's the issue....

    "Particularly because of the terrible media coverage Air New Zealand have already received and even worse coverage they will receive if it goes ahead!"

    "I don't honestly see how the airline thinks they have the upper hand here"

    Mr airline pilot, I think you may want to read some of the media reports and particularly the comments left by the average NZ worker earning half what the Air NZ engineers already get paid. From what I see, public sympathy is NOT on the side of those threatening to strike

    Appalling behavior by the engineers and unions, you guys should be ashamed of yourselves for purposely ruining innocent peoples Christmases. We're not pawns in your fight for more more money

    1. Your a victim of the spin doctors at airnz my friend.

      As Mr pilot puts it, airnz has had weeks to sort this but their stubborn approach has caused this. They were trying to paint the airline as innocent victims.

      Of course for anyone in the industry they would appreciate that it is not true the wages (I recall 115k somewhere) isn't true. Some of the people in the union earn well below 50k

  4. Hey Steve, check out Norfolk Island Tourism on FB. Appears that Air Chats service to NLK is well on track to start up come September 2019! :)

  5. If you honestly believe that the passengers are the victims, then you’ve believed the 6pm news and Stuff a little too much. I ask you to find the truth about the strike before you form your opinions.

    This strike isn’t just for engineers, it covers multiple different professions with some (like cleaners) earned less than $40,000 a year!! AirNZ wants them to lose their overtime provisions and other allowances which is what they RELY on to put food on the table for their families!! They need those allowances to live. And AirNZ is wanting to tale that away. It’s not just ‘rich engineers’ that want more money.

    It is not appalling behaviour. It is APPALLING that the airline is ignoring the voices of the very people keeping these planes in the air, and the very people keeping AirNZ’s safety record as clean as it is! They have no other option! I stand by them. And all of my colleagues stand by them.

    To clarify, it is the airline’s fault that there is going to be disruptions. They could reopen the door for negotiations at ANY POINT and stop all of this. The issue is that the airline isn’t even prepared to talk about it.

    Sincerely, Mr Pilot

    1. Yes, but the strike is not the problem. I'm all for these people. But the timing. Very poor!

  6. Strike has been called off