[Bahamas] ATC considering further industrial action

Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers’ Union
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[Bahamas] ATC considering further industrial action

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http://news.bajansunonline.com/bahamas- ... al-action/

[Bahamas] Air traffic controllers considering further industrial action
Thursday April 5th 2012

Disappointed by terms offered by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham to settle labor issues yesterday, the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union (BATCU) is still considering withdrawing labor over Easter weekend, a move which would disrupt operations at Lynden Pindling International Airport during the peak travel period.

BATCU President Roscoe Perpall last night said a tentative agreement with government was reached after the union had a sit-down with the prime minister. However, Perpall said his executives were not happy with what was offered and will discuss it with their members.
He said industrial action during the Easter travel period, which begins tomorrow, was not off the table.

BATCU members were supposed to meet last night to determine whether to accept the government’s offer or to make good on their threat to withdraw labor. If the threat is carried out it could cause cancelled flights and lost revenue for airlines.
“There was some agreement reached but we are out doing our post-mortem. We were a bit disappointed but this is the discussion, we still have to [sort] through some items,” Perpall told The Nassau Guardian.
He said it was up to members to decide which course to take next.

“That is a decision that we are going to take as a result of this meeting, depending on the membership,” he added.
Among other things, the union wants government to sign a new industrial agreement, approve promotions for several senior officers, repair damage to the air traffic control room sustained during Hurricane Irene and replace the control room’s radar system.
Last week air traffic controllers were on work-to-rule, a move which significantly hampered flights, particularly on Saturday.

Bahamasair Managing Director Henry Woods said airline officials were still trying to determine how much money was lost because of the union’s actions.

“We don’t know the impact however we are tracking overtime payments, fuels costs, passenger complaints. I have people compiling the information at this time,” he said. “But it affects our fuel bill, overtime, our customers particularly with connecting passengers – it is very serious.”
Woods said Easter is historically one of the airline’s busiest seasons. This year all of Bahamasair’s flights for Easter weekend – both domestic and international – are sold out.

Tourism and Aviation Minister Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace said he “did not want to contemplate” what would happen if the union made good on their threat this weekend. He said a quick resolution was in everyone’s best interests. He said recent flight delays caused by union action had a negative effect on the economy and left a bad taste in tourists’ mouths.

He added that a number of airlines have lodged complaints with the ministry over the union’s work-to-rule.
“As far as I’m concerned what has already been done has caused considerable damage to the reputation of all Bahamians. It really has nothing to do with Civil Aviation or the air traffic controllers – it really affects the economy of the country in a way that is very difficult to contemplate,” the minister said.

Yesterday Perpall said air traffic controllers had abandoned thier work-to-rule stance pending the outcome of the meeting with the prime minister.
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