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Jetstar staff exploited with 20hr shifts

A former cabin attendant with Qantas’s budget carrier Jetstar Airlines says flight safety is being endangered by some crew being forced to work extremely long shifts.

Former Jetstar employee Dallas Finn said he quit his job after two months because of concerns about safety and fatigue.

‘I told them they had safety issues with the airline and it should be addressed,’ Mr Finn told ABC TV on Thursday.

Based in Darwin, Mr Finn became a Jetstar flight attendant in June but quit two months later.

He said he had filed an incident report about fatigue after flying five return international flights in five days, which had affected his sleep ‘drastically’.

‘The Ho Chi Minh flight is between a 12- and 13-hour day,’ he said.

‘They would actually change the pilots over in Ho Chi Minh but the cabin crew would have to fly back.’

Mr Finn said he became concerned over safety after a pre-flight briefing at which the Singapore-based crew were unable to answer the emergency procedure and the medical question.

‘It was the first time I’ve actually been scared of flying because, if something went down, I didn’t actually know if that crew would be able to back me up,’ he said.

Jetstar said it investigated concerns about the skills of a crew member on a Melbourne-to-Darwin flight on July 17.

‘It was determined that the crew member satisfied proficiency requirements,’ the airline said in a statement.

The contract for Jetstar’s Singapore-based flight attendants states that crew could work shifts for up to 20 hours but staff could be forced beyond that limit without consultation, the ABC said.

The supplier of cabin crew for Jetstar out of Singapore was Valuair, of which Qantas owned a 49 per cent share through Jetstar Asia.

A Singapore-based Jetstar cabin attendant said they had to accede to management’s requests, even if they exceeded the conditions of their work contracts.

‘If we complain about fatigue or long hours or bad flight rosters, the management’s reply is: You signed a legal contract, so you have to do whatever that is’,’ the attendant told ABC TV.

But Jetstar said the airline did not roster 20-hour shifts.

‘The longest rostered shift is 15 hours and 20 minutes,’ it said.

The carrier said the average rostered international cabin crew shift was about 10 to 11 hours.

Ex-Postal Carrier Claims Mail Is Routinely Thrown in Trash

A former postal carrier alleges tens of thousands of Indianapolis residents are not getting all of their mail and he has the proof to stand behind his claims.

Keith Palmer said managers put so much pressure on carriers that some have no choice than to throw away mail to avoid overtime.

“If a route takes eight hours, they (postal carriers) are pressured to do it in seven hours,” said Palmer.

He said some carriers resort to tossing mail in the trash, literally. Palmer showed Fox59 photographs of mail piled up in trash bins right beside post offices, including Brightwood, where he worked.

He said he found auto insurance cards, Comcast mail, and magazines in some trash bins. In many trash bins, he found Indianapolis Star advertisements and coupons. Palmer reported what was happening to his boss.

“I had no choice,” said Palmer.

He was fired, although his bosses said it wasn’t about reporting the alleged wrongdoing. They said he had a bad attitude.

People like Christina Bartlett, out of Avon, didn’t receive her magazines for weeks. She found out they were thrown out in a trash bin by her home.

“It’s kind of strange, what are they doing in the Dumpster?” asked Bartlett.

Christina said she’s furious that this mail is being dumped instead of being sent to her home.

“You are currently being paid so why are you cutting corners?” asked Bartlett.

Fox59 did its own investigation, but didn’t find deliverable mail in five trash bins near post offices. We did find out that carriers were told about our investigation, though.

Fox59 contacted the United States Postal Service and they said this is all about a disgruntled employee, Keith Palmer, who just wants to put a black eye on the the postal service.

“The matters brought to your attention by Mr. Palmer were referred to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. An investigation was conducted by the OIG, and was subsequently closed as the allegations were unfounded.”

When Fox 59 forwarded our pictures and information to the office of the inspector general, Inspector Scott Pierce acknowledged he had concerns.

“While the Indy Star and coupons can be thrown away if there is no one living there, the Comcast, energy bills, insurance card mail all should have not been thrown away,” said Pierce.

In the meantime, Christina Bartlett is upset. She just wants her magazines and she said she is angry at the carriers who she feels threw them into a trash bin instead of putting them in her mailbox.

“I just don’t understand somebody who has a job and is not doing it the best they can,” said Bartlett.

Fox59 talked to several other postal carriers, who are working and retired. None of them told us they ever disposed of deliverable mail.

The post office said it is not tolerated and if a carrier is caught doing it, he or she can be fired.

Growth, job creation motivate Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

As it continues expansion and job creation Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport looms as a beacon of hope in a metropolitan area plagued with high unemployment.

The airport’s governing board is likely to fan growth flames again today with approval of projects essential to fueling additional aircraft and luring more airlines.

After their meeting, airport officials will gather with business and government leaders at a virtual groundbreaking of the latest passenger terminal addition to focus on Gateway’s promise for the immediate future, the expansion of passenger service and facilities to accommodate it.

The former Air Force Base-turned-reliever airport covers most of the ground on a 4,000-plus acre- campus that includes aerospace employers, aircraft services by some of the top names in general aviation, next-century research in a former Air Force Lab and higher education facilities, including Arizona State University Polytechnic.

Together, they represent what Scot Rigby, Mesa’s Gateway project manager, calls a catalyst for high-paying jobs, creation and development of new technologies, and a major hub for the state’s transportation needs.

“The airport is one of the few engines running on all cylinders in the entire state,” he said. “It’s 100 percent go, go, go, build, build, build while everybody else seems to be saying stop.”

Proposals to expand the airport’s fuel-storage capacity by 100,000 gallons and strengthen Gateway efforts to land at another airline are more building blocks for future commercial development on and off the airport, he said.

The nearly $1.8 million fuel farm project would be constructed by Nesbitt Contracting Co. Inc. of Tempe and managed by Dibble Engineering of Phoenix.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Military Airports Program would pay for 95 percent of the costs. The remainder would be shared by Arizona Department of Transportation grant airport authority funds.

The expansion would proceed even as plans are under way to remove aviation fuel that polluted the soil and groundwater from old underground tanks on the site when it was Williams Air Force Base.

Scientists estimate that up to 2 million gallons of aviation fuel leaked from the tanks between 1942, about a year after construction of the base began to train pilots for World War II, and 1990.

The site has undergone a series of restoration attempts over the years, and between 1997 and 2003 more than 2 million pounds of petroleum hydrocarbons, the equivalent of 343,000 gallons, were extracted, according to records.

The site poses no danger to a deepwater aquifer that provides drinking water in the area, and it is a mile from the nearest well, according to Jay Harbin, a geologist and project manager for URS Corp., a San Francisco-based engineering- and technical-services organization that has conducted testing at the site.

Mead Hunt, a Madison, Wis.-based firm that specializes in airport services such as airline recruiting, would continue to woo additional carriers to Gateway under a $60,000 contract extension.

Since 2009, the company has produced marketing brochures with vital airport statistics, demographics and other analysis for one-on-one meetings with airlines, Casey Denny, the airport’s deputy director, said in a memo to the governing board.

The firm has helped facilitate meetings with 29 airlines since that time, Denny said.

“It’s great that we have Allegiant Air (the airport’s only airline) but at the same time, the Valley and the region want more than a single carrier,” Rigby said. “This has been a key issue for (Mesa) Mayor Scott Smith) to get access from Gateway to hubs such as Dallas and Los Angeles.”


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