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BAHAMASAIR AT A TURNING POINT?

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 (MISSED OPPORTUNITY TO CLOSE THE AIRLINE DOWN)

best cialis diagnosis times;”>The mess at the airport because of the pilot’s strike by Bahamasair

 

bahamasairThe Jamaicans have an expression “ Ya must be mad”.  That is the best we can say in response to the foolish and selfish decision of the pilots of Bahamasair to leave the Bahamian public stranded in Miami and Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale and parts across the country for two days in the run up to Christmas because they wanted to get increments in their already bloated salaries.  The pilots said the company are the highest paid in this this  hemisphere for what they actually work in terms of hours.  The pay packet is simply unsustainable in a situation where the country subsidizes the airline and the country is dead broke as we like to say.   Here you have fellows who are making 100,000 dollars per year or more going down on a sick out to get increments of 1200 dollars per year.  Are they mad in indeed?  The public was pissed to no end.  The question is why did the government not act when it could have to end this stuff by simply closing down the airline and coming up with a new one the next day.  This is the former Prime Minister Patrick Manning example with the old BWIA in Trinidad.  It disappeared overnight and Caribbean Airlines rose in its place.  It seems to us that this was the solution.  The fact is new planes must soon be ordered.  When the pilots struck, a new company should have been incorporated overnight, transferring the rights, assets employee contracts except for the pilots, to the new company  and begin again.  Each pilot could then be invited to come and look for a new job under new terms and conditions.  Having missed that opportunity, it is not too late.  If we were the government, we would buy any new planes in a  new company’s name and all the pilots will have to work for that airline and make the pilots at Bahamasair  redundant.  These are no times to be playing soft.  Time for hard choices

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. The press releases from the company appear below.
 

 

bairlogo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 22, 2014

 

Bahamasair wishes to extend its sincerest apologies to the travelling public for the inconvenience caused as a result of the industrial action undertaken by the Executives and members of the Bahamas Airline Pilots Association (B-ALPA).  This action affected all of our scheduled flights this afternoon with impact potentially into tomorrow. 

 

During the past six months Bahamasair and B-ALPA Executives have been in cordial, respectful and cooperative discussions regarding a new labour agreement.  This action took management totally by surprise.

 

Executives of B-ALPA walked out of a contract negotiation meeting this morning at the Ministry of the Labour where discussions regarding salary structure for the new contract were taking place.  Bahamasair’s Management is gravely disappointed that the Pilots took this position, after it was explained in great detail that their counter proposal was to be vetted by the Minister of Labour and shared with his Cabinet colleagues tomorrow morning. 

 

Management considers B-ALPA’s actions unreasonable and unwarranted – considering the fact that these pilots are the highest paid in the region.  Management feels that the current salary proposal submitted to B-ALPA is reasonable and places their salaries that much further ahead of the salaries paid to other regional carriers, particularly state owned Airlines.

 

Bahamasair has consistently made strides to improve viability and efficiency since its inception in 1973.  However, it has struggled in the face of unsustainable labour costs which account for 44.6% of the airline’s total revenue; which has made it challenging for the company to achieve financial success.  This unfortunate situation is not the result of some reckless action by the Board or Management and we wish to invite the Executives of B-ALPA to return to the bargaining table and resume negotiations to complete a new agreement in good faith.  

 

This re-accommodation of the inordinate amount of passengers as a result of this action is an expensive one which we hope to bring to a close as soon as possible.  Bahamasair is cognizant that this is the height of our peak travel period and we will do the best we can to mitigate any further disruption to your holiday travel plans.  

 

We will keep the public informed of any new developments.

 

-30-

 

pjohnson@bahamasair.com

 

Bahamasair pilot “sick-out” has ended

December 24, 2014

 

Bahamasair wishes to advise the public that the Pilot’s “Sick Out” has ended and effective immediately Bahamasair has resumed normal operations.  It is anticipated that the backlog of passengers will be cleared in short order. Bahamasair will continue to execute its contingency plan to ensure that all passengers’ bags will be in Nassau for the Christmas holiday.  Bahamasair extends sincerest apologies and deepest appreciation to the travelling public for their understanding and patience displayed during the recent unlawful industrial action taken by members of the Bahamas Airline Pilots Association (B-ALPA).  The company realizes the enormous discomfort the actions of a few may have created and sincerely hope that it has not caused any lasting harm to the holiday season.

 

Contrary to statements made, Management of Bahamasair wishes to advise the public that our standing contingency plan was mobilized.  This contingency plan is a standing operating procedure for Bahamasair and has at its core route coverage through local sub-service carriers and wet lease agreements with foreign carriers.  This is done to avoid service disruptions not just in the case of industrial actions but when there are other emergencies as well.

 

Unfortunately, when members of the Bahamas-Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) were made aware that our plan had been mobilized, they immediately contacted their union counterparts in the United States who in turn sympathized and stood in solidarity with the Bahamasair pilots and decided that they would not fly as a part of the wet lease agreement.  Subsequently, three (3) Florida based carriers who had reached agreement to provide multiple flights for Bahamasair from early yesterday morning withdrew from these agreements; which ultimately resulted in major passenger backlogs. In essence our contingency plan was sabotaged. Statements attributed to Captain Moxey that they returned to work as a result of Bahamasair not having a contingency plan, begs the question as to why they would have chosen the busiest season of the year to carry out an illegal industrial action, knowing full well that the end results would have resulted in thousands of passengers being displaced.

 

Management and the Board wishes to restate its grave disappointment that the Pilots took such action after the company and union had been engaged in what was, up to that point a constructive and substantive contract negotiation.  Notwithstanding our total surprise at B-ALPA’s actions, Bahamasair reaffirms that whether in the case of emergency or industrial action of any kind we remained prepared to execute as necessary our contingency plan to ensure our ability to service our loyal passengers.

 

In view of the disruption and delays in service over the past few days, Management wishes the travelling public to know that any individual who was not able to travel as scheduled will be compensated and or re-accommodated without penalty. 

 

Management and the Board once again, takes this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks to our front line staff who in the face of extreme pressure continued to give 100% as they serviced the needs of our passengers.