Kingston, Jamaica. May 12, 2022. Opposition Spokesman on Transport, Mikael Phillips, MP, says the strike action by Air Traffic Controllers and the resulting disruption of Jamaica’s air services was preventable, had the Government acted on several warnings over the past week and had taken the necessary actions.
“Consequently, the Ministries of Finance and Transport must take full responsibility for the closure of the island’s air space and the massive economic and security fallout which will inevitably occur,” Mr. Phillips said in a statement this morning.
The Opposition Spokesman said there had been loud rumblings and there was enough time to hear and settle the issues of concern to the Air Traffic Controllers. He said while the Government forges ahead with its compensation reforms, it is becoming increasingly evident that at all levels of the public sector, workers have either not been adequately consulted or are simply being left in the dark.
Mr. Phillips called on the Government to immediately convene a conciliatory meeting to ensure a quick return to normality as flights for tourists and Jamaicans are already affected, leaving people stranded in airports and hotels in Jamaica and globally.
Meanwhile, Opposition Spokesoperson on Tourism, Senator Janice Allen is calling on the Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett to lead the charge on behalf of the Tourism Industry to get the Government to urgently resolve the impasse with the Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs).
In a statement today, Senator Allen said “the ATCs make up a critical sector in the tourism industry and we can’t do without them. Whatever the matters are they must be addressed with urgency”. She said tourists had to scramble to leave Jamaica this morning and all incoming flights are now cancelled.
She said the Tourism Industry trying to recover from the pandemic cannot now afford any further disruptions. “This Government has consistently shown a lack of regard for workers, but the industry cannot survive without the workers as the big companies alone cannot do it”, she said.