Australian pay dispute set to hit airports

Sydney Airport (Getty)
Sydney Airport (Getty)

A years-long pay dispute in Australia could disrupt international travellers on Friday, as public sector workers go on strike.

Border Force staff are expected to stop working at 10:30am (NZ time) for three hours. Tens of thousands of others belonging to the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) began a 24-hour strike at 2am on Friday morning (NZ time).

The union says disruption to passengers would be "minimal". Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says Australian Federal Police will step in to cover the Border Force employees, "operating at full strength".

The dispute between the Government and union staff is nearly three years old.

"The Turnbull Government's mean-spirited and unfair treatment of public sector workers has now stretched for 1000 days," says CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood.

"It's part of a broader agenda to undermine and run down the public services that Australians know, trust and rely on."

CPSU says about 75 percent of public servants in Australia haven't had a pay rise in two years, but politicians and senior management have.