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18.10.2005 General News

Airport strike called off

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Accra, Oct 18, GNA - The timely intervention by some government officials and members of the management of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCCA) on Monday, averted the ground operations at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) from grinding to a halt following a strike action by workers of the Aviance Company, a ground handling operator. The strike action, which lasted for about seven hours, was called off around 10 PM following negotiations by the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Office of the President, Mrs Oboshie Sai Coffie, Air Vice Marshall Julius Boateng, Air Force Commander, Dr. Kwabena Richardson, chairman of the GCAA board and other senior management staff of the GCAA. According to an official of the GCAA the Aviance workers decided to resume work while negations with their management continued. The strike started around 4.30 PM when aggrieved workers of Aviance rejected a 25 percent pay increase by their management instead of the 50 percent they were demanding.

They locked up the Managing Director (MD) together with other senior staff members including the local union leaders as well as some clearing agents at the cargo village for about two hours until the Police was called in.

The aggrieved workers also disabled all ground handling equipment including high loaders and the gangway thus making it impossible for passengers to disembark and to remove their luggage from planes. Mr. Mike Maquira, Managing Director of the Aviance Company, later told the GNA that while the management was negotiating with the local union the workers got wind of the 25 percent offered instead of the 50 percent they were demanding and therefore decided to lock them up.

Meanwhile, flight operations have returned to normalcy.

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