- Workers of Air Senegal International today began a two-day strike, which grounded the carrier's flights from plying its numerous destinations in the West Africa region and Europe.
The carrier's workers have been at loggerheads with their employers over their failure to improve their conditions of services, which includes the provision of benefits.
Air Senegal is 51 percent own by Royal Air Maroc. But some employees said Senegal should have been the major shareholder of the carrier to ease the management of the company. So far, over 500 people have been on the payroll of Air Senegal.
Officials of the single trade union of air transport workers, said until Wednesday, no Air Senegal plane will ply its routes.
But informed sources said the staff and management have been involved in negotiations to solve their differences.
From 9 to 13 February, an industrial strike by airport workers in the Senegalese capital Dakar, prompted the South African Airways (SAA), to divert its Dakar route to the island of Sal, Cape Verde. The SAA route is one of West Africa's most important intercontinental connections.
Senegalese airport workers, including those responsible for handling and other services, threatened to go on strike after their demands for better conditions of services were given deaf ears. Although the Senegalese government had engaged the strikers on negotiation, SAA officials felt the need to activate their contingency plans. SAA meanwhile is flying on Dakar.
Strikes have over the years become common phenomenon in Senegal, where people from all walks of life show their discomfort with government policies, deteriorating working conditions and the region's highest price level. For several months, teachers have been striking for not being paid their promised allowances.
Strikes generally are organised in a peaceful manner and accepted by authorities. However, on 27 January Senegalese police used tear gas and beat opposition leaders and their supporters for striking against the government's postponement of legislative elections for the second time.
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