BARNABAS ORERE PONDROS
THE management of PNG Air Services Limited (PNGASL) delivered an eleventh-hour written assurance to air traffic controllers (ATCs) last Friday, just hours before they were preparing to go on strike over protracted issues, including better working conditions.
The letter signed by the chief executive officer of PNGASL Ted Pakii ensured the strike was averted and paved the way for dialogue to solve issues raised by the ATCs.
The ATCs want better employment and salary conditions, outstanding entitlements to be paid and two sidelined officers to be reinstated.
Also on their list of demands is a review of the organisational structure, payment of outstanding union allowances and representation on the PNGASL board.
PNG Air Traffic Controllers Union president John Paul confirmed this and said its membership was optimistic about going into negotiations with the PNGASL management regarding the issues “as early as next week”.
The written assurance was delivered just hours before a 21-day industrial action notice, issued by the ATCs, was to lapse at 4.06pm last Friday.