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(AR) Rare strike grounds planes in Ethiopia

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Africa Review

Rare strike grounds planes in Ethiopia

Abiy Ahmed,Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 


Abiy Ahmed,Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
EMMANUEL IGUNZA in Addis Ababa Tuesday, April 17  2018 

Dozens of flights from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa have been delayed after air traffic controllers went on strike.

It was not clear yet why the workers had downed their tools.

A Kenya Airways' KQ Flight 401 to Nairobi, had been delayed by more than an hour and the pilot had just announced it was not clear when it would take off.

Salaries and wages

Industrial strikes are very rare in Ethiopia - which is one of the continent’s fast growing economy.

But poverty levels in the country remain high and salaries and wages of public servants comparatively low compared to other countries.

Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday met the business community in the country and pledged to institute reforms that would make the country’s economy more robust.

Open to business

He said he would institute austerity measures that would cut down on expenses on foreign travels which he said cost the country millions of dollars.

He also spoke about the country’s biting foreign currency shortage and the fight against corruption.

But he assured investors that Africa’s second most populous country was open to business.

Mr Abiy took over the reins of power at the start of this month after the abrupt resignation of his predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn who quit after nearly three years of anti government protests. (BBC Africa)

Ethiopia: Brief strike by air traffic controllers delays international flights

by Engidu Woldie

ESAT News (April 17, 2018)

International flights were grounded for few hours in what appears to be a strike by air traffic controllers at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport this morning.

The deputy director for air navigation at the civil aviation authority, Shimeles Kibreab, told the national broadcaster that the brief strike was due to disagreement over overtime payments and salary scales. He said there were less controllers scheduled on duty, apparently to save payments.

It was learnt that the authority has recently stopped paying overtime even on holidays; and providing additional perks to employees due to what authorities say was serious shortages of foreign currency facing the country.

Several planes were grounded in the morning hours with some passengers sitting on the tarmac for a couple of hours before they finally took off.

“Here’s something you don’t hear often… #Ethiopia air traffic controllers are on industrial strike. Numerous flights now delayed including KQ 401 to Nairobi,” tweeted BBC’s correspondent in Addis Ababa, Emmanuel Igunza, who was travelling to Nairobi.

The Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is the main hub for the Ethiopian Airlines. One of the best airlines in Africa is also in a crisis of its own due to several defections by flight crew, who complained of nepotism and unfair treatment of employees who are non-Tigrayans.

Non-Tigrayan employees of the civil aviation authority and the Ethiopian Airlines complained that benefits and promotions were mainly given to Tigrayan employees.

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