ASECNA Air Traffic Controllers Issue Notice Of Strike
The Association of Air Traffic Controllers’ Trade Unions of the Agency for the Safety of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar (USYCAA) says it has filed a notice of strike, which will take effect from Thursday 25 August 2022 at 8 a.m.GMT until Saturday August 27, 2022 at 7:59 a.m. GMT, and then for an indefinite period until all its demands are met.
A statement signed by USYCAA which has 17 member states namely Benin, Burkina, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad and Togo says this “call for a strike is triggered by the abusive, arrogant and threatening approach of the General Management, which refuses any dialogue with the USYCAA.”
The association, legally constituted and registered in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and with close to 700 members has made some demands, which have never come to fruition. These demands (19 in number), are basically related to the reinforcement of operational capacities, professional development and the career plan of ASECNA air traffic controllers.
“Three key pillars that are increasingly and dangerously crumbling since Director General Mohamed Moussa took office in 2017, threatening aviation safety in Africa; The abolition of human factors training, the cessation of ATC familiarization trips to neighbouring countries, the discontinuation of English courses and joint qualification commissions for ATCOs, the worsening of understaffing in the centres, the refusal to adjust the licence premium to consider the responsibilities brought about by the new means of control (radar guidance), and a stagnant career plan, are some of the grievances that have been put forward.
“The grievances outlined above are continuing and increasing. ASECNA air traffic controllers hoped for the possibility of a constructive dialogue and the normalization of working conditions within the framework of the last meeting (Douala, December2021) of the Community Consultative and Negotiating Body (OCCN).
Unfortunately, this meeting turned out to be another fool’s bargain. Consequently, they did not sign the 2022-2024 contract. At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, ASECNA air traffic controllers made tremendous efforts, 2/2 accepting a freeze on their statutory bonuses and the abolition of certain benefits. Given that activities have resumed as travel restrictions are lifted, the USYCAA cannot be an accomplice to acts that have caused a great discouragement among air traffic controllers, thus jeopardizing flight safety in the 1.5 million km2 of airspace that covers the 18 member countries of ASECNA. Considering the disdain of the general management, given the petition signed by 85%of the controllers, and looking at the urgent need to preserve flight safety in this suffocating and anxiety- producing environment, the USYCAA has no other choice than to call for a cessation of work, while remaining available for the immediate opening of negotiations, while respecting the associations of trade unions and its prerogatives,” states USYCAA.
USYCAA is a non-political, non-profit trade union association that was created on October 25, 2018 during the constitutive congress held at the Labour Exchange of Treichville in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The association aims to promote the safety, efficiency and regularity of air navigation in the airspace of ASECNA member states by improving the working conditions of air traffic controllers.