IBM flightdeck strikes called off

Negotiations to continue next week.

Workers at IBM’s “Flightdeck” facility in Baulkham Hills have withdrawn threats of Friday strikes following negotiations this morning between IBM executives and union bosses.

Employees at the Baulkham Hills “Flightdeck” office – so called because the seating arrangements resemble an aircraft flightdeck – had threatened to go on strike tomorrow unless IBM would sign collective agreements including equitable pay rises, redundancy packages, penalty rates and leave entitlements.

Australian Services Union (ASU) branch secretary Sally McManus said this morning’s negotiations were “a positive indication” that IBM would strike a deal, despite the fact that the company did not promise collective agreements.

“The meeting with IBM management today was positive and negotiations will continue next week,” McManus said.

“Workers at the Flightdeck have agreed to withdraw industrial action for now, to allow negotiations to continue in good faith. ASU members are pleased with the progress and will meet next Thursday to consider an offer from IBM."

IBM is expected to “come to the table” in regard to signing the collective agreements during negotiations with the ASU next week, another union spokesperson said.

Should negotiations fail, the strike has the potential to severely affect some of IBM’s biggest customers, including Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand and Westpac, along with government agencies Medicare and Customs, which could lose technical support for airport ticketing, banking and other systems.

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