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Libya airport strike suspended to allow injured to leave

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The ITF HQ's in London

The ITF HQ’s in London

The first strike held by a Libyan civil aviation union – which affected all the country’s airport operations – was suspended on 1 June after one week to allow injured people to leave for medical treatment.

The General Air Transport Union (GATU) agreed to a union-management committee being formed to discuss the workers’ demands over security and working conditions. The union is now monitoring the committee’s progress and outcomes before it decides what further action to take.

The strike, which involved all workers at subsidiaries of the Libyan African Aviation Holding Company (LAAHC), followed unsuccessful efforts by GATU to engage the company in dialogue. The company has failed to respond to the legitimate demands of the workers to have the same working conditions and wages as workers in the company’s other subsidiaries.

Abdel Salam Tamimi, head of GATU, said: “We had to take the strike action, though we know how hard it is to do that during this difficult time. We are all facing problems but in the end, it is our workers who really suffer, the civil aviation workers who are being forgotten and are facing all difficulties without support. Now everyone know how strong we are and we are ready to act again if we have to.”

The strike was organised by GATU, which represents LAAHC handling and ground services, and the Libyan catering company union.

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