LOW MORALE: Bahamasair union says airline is at its worst in 40 years

LOW MORALE: Bahamasair union says airline is at its worst in 40 years
A Bahamasair plane sits on the runway. (PHOTO: BAHAMASAIR)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The union representing some 350 Bahamasair employees said yesterday morale was “really low”, adding that the state of the airline was the worst he has seen in nearly 40 years.

Gladstone Adderley, president of the Airport, Airline and Allied Workers Union (AAAWU), told Eyewitness News: “The morale is real low, I’d say for the last year and a half, and it’s getting worse.”

He added: “Management and the chairman keep going in the media and saying Bahamasair is a burden but successive governments have caused that. All we want is a fair playing field.

“I’ve been here 36 years and this is the worst I have seen it.”

According to Adderley, measures by management to cut flights and routes have hurt the national flag carrier’s profitability over the years.

He noted that despite statements in the media by Bahamasair Chairman Tommy Turnquest regarding the airline reintroducing an early retirement package, the union has yet to receive any formal communication regarding management’s plans.

In a statement, the AAAWU said: “We heard about reduction in staff being done by the reintroducing of the early retirement package starting at age 55 years; we heard this address by the chairman in the media. The union, to this date, has not received anything from management outlining what is being offered as a package yet.”

It noted its position is that the package must cover the five to 10 years AAAWU members are entitled to work under their industrial agreement.

According to the union, Bahamasair has always had financial challenges but never to this extent.

Turnquest has stated the government has provided $40 million in subventions to the struggling airline, which has been struggling to maintain its commitments to staff due to the fallout from the global COVID-19 pandemic.