MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT, SLAA MANAGEMENT, NCP AND CIBAPICE UNION ENGAGE SLAA STAFF
Gateway Hotel, Lungi Tuesday 13th September,2022
The Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Sierra Leone Airports Authority Management, National Commission for Privatization and CIBAPICE Union have on Tuesday 13th September,2022 engaged the general staff of the Sierra Leone Airports Authority at the Gateway Hotel on the transition process of the Freetown International Airports operations to the Summa Group of Company in October,2022.
Declaring the purpose of the engagement, the Senior Permanent Secretary who doubles as the chairman of the meeting, Al-Hassan Kondeh disclosed that the Honorable Minister requested to convey a general staff meeting with the Sierra Leone Airports Authority and representatives from the CIBAPICE Union and the National Commission for Privatization to update them on the transition process of the Management of the Freetown International Airports to the Suma Group of Company; a Turkish company.
‘’ I am happy to be here this morning, meeting with the general staff of the Freetown International Airports and other partners from government institutions, I believe this meeting is timely and will help bridge the existing communication gaps between the Airports Management and the general staff on the issue of the Freetown International Airport transition” Senior Permanent Secretary Kondeh maintained.
He further that it was on this background the Ministry of Transport and Aviation under the leadership of the Honorable Minister decided to convey a meeting to be able to speak with the general staff of the Freetown International Airports, he thanked the audience for honoring the Minister’s request to attend the meeting.
In his statement, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Honorable Kabineh Kalloh expressed his thanks and appreciation to everyone for making it a point of duty to attend the meeting.
He disclosed that he has received several calls from passengers alleging that some staff of the Freetown International Airports do normally extort and harass them while onboarding or out boarding the premises of the Airports, he added that there are also rumors making rounds on social media about alleged theft, harassment and extortion of passengers and their properties at the same Freetown International Airports by some staff of the Airport.
He appealed to the General Manager and Management team of the Freetown International Airport to be proactive in ensuring that the general staff perform their daily duties professionally without favor or bribery.
He called on all staff members to exhibit high level of professionalism, integrity and nationalism in their daily interaction with passengers while performing their duties they are assigned to do.
He applauded the National Revenue Authority (NRA) for their strived been made so far by procuring scanning machines to be used at the Airports in other to decongest the exist and entry points.
He maintained that rumors are making rounds on social media that some staff of the Airports want to go on strike action, pointed out that as a responsible government through the Ministry of Transport and Aviation met with CIBAPICE Union and later with the Chief Minister and Suma representatives to negotiate the retention of the general staff of the Freetown International Airports at their post,
‘’ We discussed lengthily on issues surrounding the transition process of the Freetown International Airport to Suma Group of Company taking into account the Local Content Policy governing the process of job recruitment in the country’’ Minister Kallon said.
He disclosed that the Management of the Suma Group of Company will take over operations end of October,2022, adding that the general staff of the Freetown International Airport will be absorbed into the general staff list of Suma Group of Company.
He maintained that Suma Management will put everyone on probation for the first one year and based on performance they will retain or lay poor output staff off the job.
He called on the general staff to be committed in their daily performance of their duty as it will not be business as usual, adding that some staff are of the habit of not coming for work.
He advised all staff to be patient and be committed to their work, noting that the Ministry of finance and Summa Group of Company are planning on their leave payment, as well as benefit to those staff that might want to resign.
In his statement, the Secretary General of CIBAPICE Union, Alhaji Muctarr Williams explained the strive been made by his union to ensure that the concerns of staff are addressed before the transition of the Freetown International Airports Management to the Summa Group of Company.
He assured all staff that, their concerns would be addressed soonest by the responsible authorities involved, noting that as a union they are very much concern and emphasized that the issues are been channeled to the right authorities for immediate solution.
The Freetown International Airports Shop Steward, Jine Kamara, expressed thanks and appreciation to the Honorable Minister of Transport and Aviation and team for their timely intervention, adding that the engagement is on the right direction.
He commended the Minister and his staff for their commitment to the development of the Airports, he noted that the Airports is set to pass the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)Audit test and certification exercise of the Airports.
He explained the outcome of the last meeting been held with the Ministry, CIBAPICE Union and representatives staff of the Freetown International Airports at the Ministry’s Conference room in Freetown, he added that all their concerns were channeled to the appreciate authorities for their attention and further resolution.
He recommended that a member of the union be part of the team to meet with Suma Group of Company for a roadmap in the transition process, staff leave payment for October ,2022 be paid, 3% from 2018 salary backlog to be paid and give early notification to staff for their retention or for end of service benefit.