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The Australian and International Pilots Association
(AIPA) is a trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...
and professional association formed in 1981 to represent Qantas and its related companies pilots and flight engineers. The AIPA broke away from the Australian Federation of Air Pilots
The Australian Federation of Air Pilots is a professional association and industrial organisation for commercial pilots in Australia.As a professional association, it provides pilots the opportunity to meet and discuss aviation-related matters...
(AFAP) in the early 1980s. It was formally registered in 1986.
In May 2007 the Australian Industrial Relations Commission
The Australian Industrial Relations Commission, or AIRC , was a tribunal with powers under the Workplace Relations Act 1996. It was the central institution of Australian labour law...
ruled that the AIPA could cover pilots employed by Jetstar. http://www.airc.gov.au/alldocuments/PR977163.htm
This means that coverage of Jetstar pilots is shared between the AFAP and the AIPA.
The AIPA does not view itself as a trade union, but as a "professional Association and federally registered organisation". http://www.aipa.org.au/AboutAIPA/tabid/53/Default.aspx
In late 2006 it decided to rejoin the ACTU http://workers.labor.net.au/features/200612/a_interview_woods.html