Airports, banks to be hit by IT staff strike

NCR technicians are planning to go out on strike this week creating havoc at banks, airports and universities.

The Australian Services Union (ASU) said 150 technicians will stop work today, Monday, March 13, 2006.

The union said the strike will affect IT for major airlines such as Qantas because the technicians support ticketing and baggage-handling technology.

NCR also operates regional ATMs for the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ, credit unions, IT systems for Wollongong University, all KFC outlets, Aldi supermarkets and public schools across Australia.

ASU secretary Sally McManus said the strike was a response to repeated attempts to negotiate a pay rise that keeps track with inflation.

McManus said salaries had not kept in line with the cost of living, particularly motor vehicle costs which have jumped 18 percent in five years and petrol prices have risen 65 percent.

"They [the workers] are concerned that NCR is attempting to stonewall so they can use the Howard government's new WorkChoices laws to cut away at wages and conditions," McManus said in a statement.

"These workers do not want to inconvenience the public, but have no option to achieve pay increases."

An NCR spokesman said disruptions would be kept to a minimum.

He said fewer than 50 percent of its technicians would be involved in the planned week-long strike.

"We have a field team of less than 150, and this team is not concentrated in NSW, it's spread around the country; so 50 percent or more will not go on strike," he said adding that NCR was working to continue negotiations with the ASU.

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