THE SCENE on Monday as travellers were caught up in industrial action at the Lynden Pindling International Airport.
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE government has restarted negotiations with the Bahamas Public Service Union (BPSU) following Monday’s industrial action with the hopes of having most of their grievances resolved by the end of August.
“The operations at the airport are going smoothly,” the Acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper told reporters yesterday.
“We’re grateful to the workers for returning to work. I have always been an advocate for ensuring that the workers get everything that they are legitimately entitled to.
“I continue to push to cause this to happen. I am happy that we have restarted conversations with the president, and we anticipate over the course of the next few days, we have been making significant advancements.
“We hope to settle most of the issues by the end of August and we hope to continue the conversations. It’s important for workers that we work in harmony together with the union and that is what we’re going to do.
“Now that we have normalised the airport, our priority is ensuring that these workers’ rights are preserved, and we want them to know that we’re standing with them and we’re going to ensure that they are not adversely impacted because of ongoing discussions and negotiations between the union and the government.”
On Monday, more than 200 workers from the Bahamas Airport Authority, represented by the BPSU, called in sick to protest outstanding payments and a stalled industrial agreement, among other things.
In a ruling handed down hours after Monday’s industrial action, Justice Denise Lewis-Johnson declared the sickout illegal, and ordered workers back to work.
However, industrial action continued the next day, despite the order.
A BAA official estimated that 80 percent of airport workers in New Providence did not return to work Tuesday.
When contacted for an update yesterday, officials told The Tribune that most airport staff on both New Providence and the Family Islands had reported to duty, allowing for operations to return to normal.