TUC president takes aim at GABATCO accusers

Guild of Antigua & Barbuda Air Traffic Controllers
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TUC president takes aim at GABATCO accusers

Unread post by bimjim » Tue Jan 06, 2009

http://www.antiguasun.com/paper/?as=vie ... 8&ac=Local

TUC president takes aim at GABATCO accusers
Sunday December 28 2008
by Andy Liburd

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Trade Union Congress (TUC) Maurice Christian is claiming that anyone who suggested that the decision by air traffic controllers to introduce a “flow control” system was a means of protest was having a rough time dealing with his/her conscience.

Christian said the decision to introduce the system had nothing to do with industrial action and therefore questioned the motives of those who implied that the members of the Guild of Antigua and Barbuda Air Traffic Controllers (GABATCO) were seeking to press their agendas through protest action.

The TUC in a statement issued to the media on the weekend said the action taken by the air traffic controllers was well within the realms of the law.

“We must not forget that their job title is air traffic controllers, which suggest that their duty is to control or regulate air traffic, so as to avoid accidents or collisions in the air. In this regard, the Antigua and Barbuda Trade Union Congress views the recent actions by the controllers as within legal limits,” the TUC statement said.

The TUC made its position clear on one of its member organisations after the air traffic controllers drew criticism for introducing the "flow control" system that caused flight delays and that some estimated would have impacted negatively the country’s tourism sector.

“There was no industrial action,” Christian further told the Antigua Sun on the weekend, noting that their statement was to condemn those who brought the reputation of the air traffic controllers into question by suggesting that they were putting their interests before their jobs.

“To those in authority or otherwise who think that the controllers are taking industrial action because of employment-related grievances, let them act to bring comfort in the employment climate,” the TUC statement had declared.

GABATCO in its own statement issued earlier had sought to put down rumours that it was taking industrial action.

“GABATCO wishes to dispel rumours of us taking industrial action as suggested by the Minister of Aviation Harold Lovell and Mr. Ken Hurst, CEO of ABAA,” the statement from the Guild said.

“Despite numerous odds and many challenges including meagre salaries, no radar, lack of ramp space, poor runway lighting and runway surface conditions, inadequate working conditions, outdated equipment and the list goes on, we have maintained the utmost professionalism in the provision of quality air traffic services. We’ve held true to our motto which is PRIDE,PROGRESS and PROFESSIONALISM,” the statement continued.

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