Airport workers end protest – for now

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Although their grievances have not yet been fully addressed, staff at the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority (ABAA) ended their protest yesterday afternoon, returning to work on the order of their union.

On Tuesday, the workers – as advised by their industrial representative, the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) – embarked on protest action.

They were pushing for several issues to be resolved, including a request to have a compensation study shared with their union.

They also had issues with a perceived lack of transparency on the part of the ABAA. 

The management of the airport, along with government officials, met with the ABWU earlier yesterday.

ABWU General Secretary David Massiah told OBSERVER last night that the meeting was able to resolve some of the issues, but there are still matters outstanding.

“The Board acceded to our concerns and they expressed a number of issues which we will meet again to discuss,” Massiah said.

According to him, the meeting was able to resolve enough of the issues to allow the workers to return to work.

“There were a number of other matters, including how workers are paid when working the night shifts,” he added.

Massiah did not want to make the other matters public, because according to him, they are still being discussed.

He was only willing to say that the Board of the Airport Authority and the government admitted to having been lackadaisical in dealing with issues relating to staff.

“We made it clear to them that our position on industrial action will remain until we have some resolution on the entire matter, so that’s something that they need to look at,” he said.

The industrial action that started late Tuesday reportedly crippled the operations of the V.C. Bird International Airport. It resulted in long lines of passengers waiting to be processed.

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