Airport workers ‘to receive outstanding payments’

The Lynden Pindling International Airport. (File photo)

The Lynden Pindling International Airport. (File photo)

THE government has agreed to pay all outstanding money owed to Airport Authority employees over a six-month period starting in the March pay period, the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation said last night.

The ministry said it is aware of concerns being raised by Airport Authority employees through the Bahamas Public Services Union, about certain sums of money to be paid as a part of the industrial agreement.

In a statement issued last night, the ministry said it is committed to honouring all agreed terms of the industrial agreement, and this has been communicated.

“The current financial constraints we face as a result of COVID-19 and its impact on our economy did not make it possible to honour these payments, and we ask for the continued patience of the Airport Authority and its employees as we rebuild our economy stronger and continue to demonstrate our promise to protecting jobs,” the ministry said.

“The Airport Authority generates its revenue from the air-traveling public by way of collection of security and related travel fees at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) and our 28 Family Island airports.

“Despite a steep decline in revenue to only a fraction of what is required to honour our commitments, we have retained all of our 600 plus employees on full pay, notwithstanding the fact that the majority are working a significantly reduced workweek. Specifically, all employees, with the exception of the airport screening and security departments, have been working approximately 20 hours weekly, with full pay, and during the peak of the pandemic, most were not required to work at all as the airports were closed or operating on extremely limited schedules.”

The ministry said the government is committed to keeping public service employees on staff despite the economic hardship from the pandemic.

“The Airport Authority is no different, and we are fully committed to honouring all obligations. As demonstrated, we have strongly resisted furloughing employees and/or terminating anyone because of the pandemic as we see the engagement of all of our employees as a part of the solution on our road to recovery and maintaining economic stability,” the ministry added, asking staff and the union for “patience” as they exercise their rights in protesting or making any other public statements.


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