By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 23 October 2015:
Air traffic controllers are threatening to go on indefinite strike throughout Libya in nine day’s . . .[restrict]time unless their employment contracts are transferred to the Libyan Afriqiyah Aviation Holding Company.
Like the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority, their current employer, Afiqiyah Aviation Holdings is state-owned. However, salaries are higher and there are better benefits, notably in health insurance.
In a letter addressed to “the Prime Minister”, but not naming him, the deputy head of air traffic control, Nuri Abulgassim Omar, says that the strike will begin at 8.30 am on 1 November unless the authorities immediately implement a government decision in February last year approving the transfer. He said said that at a meeting on 18 October controllers had decided to stop work because their demands for its implementation had been constantly ignored.
The Zeidan government decided in February 2014 to transfer the controllers’ contracts following earlier industrial action by them over pay and conditions. They have also been on strike at least twice over demands for better security, most notably in June last year, prior to the blitz and closure of Tripoli International Airport, when a missile hit the airport’s control tower.
In the current political divide, it is not clear who can implement a transfer or how.
Meanwhile, despite the threat, it has been announced that Tamanhint airport, north east of Sebha, is to start flights to Amman and Alexandria via Labraq. There are already flights to Tunis. The airport director, Hamza Hassan, also said that the number of flights to Tripoli Mitiga airport would also be increased.
The main airport at Sebha remains closed because of security threats.
For its part, Buraq Air has announced that it will start flights from Mitiga to Amman next Saturday, the day before the controllers a due to strike. [/restrict]