Air traffic control officers act up again

Guild of Antigua & Barbuda Air Traffic Controllers
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Air traffic control officers act up again

Unread post by bimjim » Sat Jan 03, 2009 ... 9&ac=Local

Air traffic control officers act up again
Friday January 02 2009

Following a day described by some airline officials as the worse since the air traffic control officers instituted a “traffic flow control system” at the VC Bird International Airport word has come that the officers will become even more rigid in the execution of their duties from today.

Though the Guild of Antigua and Barbuda Air Traffic Control (GABATCO) maintains the situation has nothing to do with any form of industrial action the extended programme and the length of time for aircraft to take-off from the facility has raised eyebrows among travellers, customs and immigration officials and airline executives.

“We are not sure how long we can carry on like this,” said an official from an international airline who spoke to the Antigua Sun on the condition of anonymity.

“If it continues there will be no choice but to look closely at how it is impacting on us and make the necessary adjustments,” the official said.

The official, however, declined to say if this would include the postponement of service to and from Antigua and Barbuda though it was not said definitively that this was not a considered option.

Meanwhile, government and airport officials have said they are not sure what is happening as everyone had agreed there was an outstanding meeting held earlier this week between government officials and representatives from GABATCO.

Several issues were reportedly placed on the table and government was waiting to hear from GABATCO as to whether or not certain initiatives taken had met with their approval or what might be done to produce situations to the mutual benefits of both teams at the negotiating table.

The SUN has learned that some matters that came under the microscope included an early retirement plan, the details of which have been referred to the Pensions Commission.

Meanwhile, other information suggests airport officials have agreed to a lump sum payment representing payment increased under two contract periods between 2003 to 2007. Airport officials have also acceded to retroactive payments of travel allowances, free local telephone service, eye and ear care allowances and 100 per cent duty free concessions on a vehicle purchased every five years after a member has attained the post of air traffic control 2.

Spokesperson for GABATCO Wesley Joseph told the SUN government’s proposal has been rejected based on outstanding issues in relation to their contracts.

“That is still the sticking point,” Joseph said.

He, however, added that he has no idea where information about proposed industrial action is coming from.

I did hear it on one of the radio stations but I am not aware of that. There is certainly nothing planned,” he said.~

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