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21.10.2005 General News

Aviance workers pledge smooth work

By GNA
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Accra, Oct. 21, GNA - Executives of the local union of Aviance Ghana, a ground-handling operator at the Kotoka International Airport, have given the assurance that there would be no further industrial action while the key issues in the dispute with the Management were being resolved.

A statement signed by five union executives read: "We, the Executives of the local union of Aviance Ghana, following last Monday's industrial action by staff, wish to assure the nation and all interested parties that there will not be further industrial action or strike while the key issues in the dispute are being resolved with management. "We pledge our continued support towards the provision of quality services to our international clients at the Airport, and hope that all outstanding matters will be resolved in the interest of mother Ghana." Mr Joseph Nii-Moi, Chairman, Mr Rashid Ahmed, Vice Chairman, Mr Edward Abbah, Secretary, Mr Ephraim Amessey, Trustee and Mr Samuel Awin, Assistant Secretary signed the statement.

Last Monday night, the timely intervention by some government officials and members of the Management of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCCA) 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.

The strike action, which lasted for about seven hours, was called off around 22 hours 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; Chairman of the GCAA Board, Dr Kwabena Richardson 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 1630 hours when aggrieved workers of Aviance rejected a 25 per cent pay increase offered by their Management instead of the 50 per cent they were demanding.

They locked up the Managing Director 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 per cent offered instead of the 50 per cent they were demanding and, therefore, decided to lock them up.

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