Air traffic controllers end work-to-rule
There may be flight delays at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) over the busy New Year’s holiday weekend, but members of the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union (BATCU) say if there are, they won’t be because of them.
BATCU President Roscoe Perpall told The Nassau Guardian that 75 members of his union met Thursday night and decided to end the work-to-rule they have been operating under for the past two weeks.
Perpall said BATCU members decided to continue to work with the government and the Department of Civil Aviation to resolve any outstanding issues, which include stalled negotiations over a contract which expired in February 2008.
Perpall said the union is now focused on the way forward.
“We took into account the considerable effort on behalf of the minister (of aviation) to meet us on some of the issues. It was never our intent to inflict any hardship on the flying community. However, we were left with no recourse other than to implement the work-to-rule in order to get the attention of the government,” said Perpall.
“Our stepping down was to give fair consideration to the aviation community. There was never any intent to threaten our fragile tourist industry or (the country’s) economic position right now. And once we got to the point where we were able to work with the government towards resolution of our issues, we thought it was in everyone’s best interest to assist in trying to restore normalcy at the airport.”
Air traffic controllers’ work-to-rule delayed flights at the airport for as long as three hours over the Christmas holiday weekend, Perpall claimed.
Minister of Tourism and Aviation Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace met with BATCU officials this week to discuss issues, including overdue promotions, poor working conditions and money owed to air traffic controllers.
Now that air traffic controllers have ended their work-to-rule, Perpall expects air traffic to flow more smoothly this weekend. However, he said, New Year’s Day weekend is one of the busiest traveling periods. Therefore, there will likely be some delays.