Aviation Minister Joseph Kofi Adda has urged the staff union and professional associations within the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) not to embark on any strike, saying it will cause huge, irreversible repercussions for the state, as the global Aviation sector is in distress due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Staff of the GCAA have notified their intention to go on strike beginning Monday, March 17, 2020 – a move that would cause disruption to flight operations within the Accra Flight Information Region (FIR).
The staff are outraged by inaction of the Aviation Ministry in removing the Board Chairman of GCAA, Air Cdre. Rexford G.M. Acquah (rtd) – who they accuse of incessant interference in the day-to-day operations of their work, including the issuance of threats to management and staff over internal administrative matters such as the hiring and promotion of staff. They have also demanded a cessation of all activities on the two lands belonging to GCAA: a 60-acre land located at La Wireless, and an over 600-acre land in Nkwantanan, both in Accra.
It is against this background that Mr. Adda, in a press statement, has sought to calm the nerves of airport staff; urging them to backtrack on their actions as the matter has been referred to the Presidency and is being addressed.
“It must be noted that the matter has been elevated to the level of the Presidency through the Chief of Staff, and assurance has been given that it is being addressed to find an amicable solution.
“This outcome has since been communicated to the union and professional associations, with whom an understanding was reached that cessation of work on the said lands has been ordered and that no disruption of services within Ghana’s airspace will occur,” he said.
He further stated that it would be inimical to the country for the workers to embark on such a strike at a time when the aviation industry is battling with crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Ministry of Aviation has made significant progress on resolution of the issues which have been raised, and hereby cautions against the withdrawal of services – which would impact flight safety, particularly at a time that the Coronavirus pandemic is posing existential challenges to the global aviation industry,” he said.
The ministry’s statement further assured the general public, especially passengers travelling by air, that scheduled flight operations will not be disrupted.