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Issues highlighted by PSU being taken care of – AIA CEO

Issues highlighted by PSU  being taken care of – AIA CEO
Left to Right: Elroy Boucher president of the Public Service Union & CEO of the Argyle International Airport (AIA) Corsel Robertson

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Argyle International Airport (AIA) Corsel Robertson says that several issues highlighted by the Public Service Union (PSU) in recent correspondence have been dealt with while others are being worked out.

Among the issues raised by the PSU are the non-payment of increments despite successful completion the two-year probationary period; uniforms not being replaced after more than two years; and the dilapidated state of the vehicle assigned to the Aviation Security Department.

It was also said that space allocated for security offices in the cargo area is poorly ventilated and insect infested.

Additionally the area, which is located under a flight of stairs is small and not conducive to work.

Another issue is that workers at the aviation security department are awaiting the relocation of their office as the current location cannot accommodate the 104 members of that department.

Boucher also spoke about the lack of proper bathroom and kitchen facilities for workers and the need for regular testing of employees for COVID-19.

The statement noted that the PSU wrote to management about the concerns, but got no response.

“They did send a letter and I admit there was a delay, I accept that, but I responded to them last week and some of the issues, for instance the vehicle, have been dealt with,” Robertson said on Thursday.

She said from time to time vehicles give problems and that has been worked out since last October and it was “strange” that issue was spoken about.

She noted that the issue with the uniforms is being looked at as workers have in fact had the same uniforms for two years.

“There are some other issues and we will examine and make changes as necessary, but with some issues, we are in middle of COVID,” Robertson said while noting that the pandemic has in fact slowed down management’s ability to deal with certain things in a timely manner.

The CEO said the issue in relation to regular testing of employees for COVID-19 is because the test backlog experienced by the ministry of health, so that was not the AIA’s fault. She said some workers have been tested.

Robertson said that the AIA has collaborated with the PSU on issues like International Women’s Day and even received a letter thanking them (AIA) for the collaboration.

She said the PSU is painting a very negative image of AIA management and while she thinks that move is very unprofessional, she will work with them to resolve whatever problems may exist.

She stressed COVID has created a heavier work load, not lessened it, and when one is working in the interest of employees it is best to have dialogue and not go about saying negative things.

Boucher said on Monday night that he had spoken to Garth Saunders, chairman of the AIA board of directors and the chairman had given his assurance that the issues would be dealt with.

“The CEO responded on Friday…but it only came because we put out a press release and it went to the media,” Boucher opined while noting that some of the issues are “real simple” and management could have said what they could and couldn’t do instead of what he considers “ignoring” the PSU.

He noted that the PSU had also written to Senator Julian Francis who has responsibility for airports because they want the issues taken care of as they do not want to resort to industrial action.

“If you are cash strapped, tell the workers,” Boucher said on the program which also heard from Public Relations Officer (PRO) at the (PSU) Shelly-Ann Alexander-Ross and guest Ademola Williams, a training officer at the Labour Department.