Sick out at airport
Unionized workers at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) have embarked on sick out action.
This, as tensions between Government and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), appear to be worsening.
Following a breakdown in pay talks between GAIA management and NUPW officials last week, Barbados TODAY understands that the airport was hit by sick out action just after midday.
However, today’s action involved mostly custodial and engineering staff at the country’s lone airport, which employs over 400 workers.
When contacted, GAIA Corporate Communications Specialist Keith Goddard confirmed that “some members of staff did leave their positions”.
However, he said the airport had not received any official notice from the NUPW of the protest action.
With threats of possible stepped up action tomorrow, Goddard said the airport was continuing to monitor the situation.
However, he told Barbados TODAY that so far no flights have been affected, and the airport remains fully open for business.
The development comes amid conflicting reports about the impact of a go-slow, which was instituted by the NUPW over a week ago in its bid to force Government to reinstate its president Akanni McDowall to a senior acting position in the public service after he was recently sent back to his substantive junior position.
However, so far the Freundel Stuart administration has been refusing to budge even though the NUPW, as well as other key trade unions, have warned of disruptions to this year’s 50th anniversary of independence celebrations, which are due to culminate in a visit by Britain’s Prince Harry next week.