MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) –Close to 200 workers at Mogadishu’s Adan Adde Airport went on strike on Sunday over non-payment of salaries for 4 months and their management’s refusal to address their complaints, urging Somalia’s federal government to step in.
The strike, amid a busy travel day, includes baggage handlers and customer service agents, according to Somalia Aviation authorities. Several airplanes were stranded at the airport and many flights came close to be cancelled.
Somali workers at Adan Adde Airport announced the walk-off on Sunday, saying they have not been paid for 4 months and were subjected to harsh and inhumane treatment by Kenyan and Ugandan middle-level managers.
“We are complaining about acts of humiliation and cruelty perpetrated against poor workers at the airport by Ugandan and Kenyan Favori LLC middle-level managers. These managers always subject workers to inhumane behaviors, deny their rights and in particular, the rights of people sustaining injuries from airport service,” said one of the striking airport workers.
“We urge all concerned sides to step in and help us in protecting our rights; we have received no salaries for 4 months. Many of the workers were evicted from their homes and others were led to divorce”
The workers who spoke to media said they were prone to be dismissed for voicing their complaints and demanding payment.
Since the Turkish company Favori LLC took over the management of Mogadishu’s Adan Adde airport, hundreds of Somali workers were dismissed; Kenyan and Ugandan nationals were hired in their replacement.
Some of the striking Somali workers who spoke to media stressed that the Turkish company was favoring Ugandan and Kenyan nationals over them, discarding their rights as Somali nationals in their own country.
Somalia’s Aviation Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Salad (Omar) denied that the strike caused any disruption to the services of Adan Adde airport.
“The airport is open and continues to provide its services” the Minister posted on his official Facebook page.
How did the company deal with the strike?
The strike caused disruptions to airport services which lasted for several hours, but the Turkish company that runs management of Adan Adde Airport refused to open negotiations with the striking workers and address their complaints.
A number of Kenyan and Ugandan workers who were earlier hired by the company were immediately told to fill the vacuum to end disruptions to airport services.
Somali government has not yet commented on the complaints of Adan Adde airport workers over non-payment of salaries and other inhumane behaviors.
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