Entebbe Airport Workers Commence Week-Long Hunger Strike Over Poor Working Conditions

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Workers at Entebbe Airport starting Monday embarked on a weeklong strike, with hope to gain the attention of their employers, to better their working conditions.

The workers in their hundreds, who are joining the strike are employed by NAS, one of the two ground handling companies at the national airport.

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The company (formerly ENHAS) was recently sold by majority shareholder, Minister Sam Kutesa, to investors from the United Arab Emirates.

One of the staff members who talked to us and requested anonymity, said the workers decided to embark on a week of hunger strike due to poor working conditions and feeding.

“We decided to boycott the meals; we are not going to eat for one week,” the source said.

One of the concerns of the striking workers is that they haven’t been receiving their bonuses.

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“We don’t see our bonuses, yet the amount of work we do is enormous,” the source said.

“People are working 6 nights; there is a few staff members because many are leaving and are not being replaced. It’s a lot of work.”

“The terms of agreement with our Workers’ Unions too are not being implemented.”

The source however, said the strike was not intended to interfere with the operations of the airport, and that they indeed would continue to do their work through the strike.

When we contacted the company on their office line, an unidentified official, denied reports about the strike.

“There isn’t anything like that really; there is no strike,” said the female official.

While our source told us the company officials this morning held an emergency meeting with the striking staff members together with their union representatives, the official denied knowledge of this meeting.

“We always have departmental meetings but we haven’t had anything like that.”

Civil Aviation Authority, — which runs the airport – however, confirmed the hunger strike when contacted.

CAA spokesperson, Mr Vianne Luggya said the authority had learnt about the planned industrial action.

He said however, that they intervened and that the matter was resolved.

“The strike was planned but they resolved it today,” he said.

“I talked to the company people yesterday and this morning when I heard about it; they explained to me that the main issue of the unpaid bonuses had been explained to staff.”

Luggya, however, added that the issue of the meals was yet to be fully resolved.

“This is still being discussed together with the union,” he said.

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