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Algerian airport maintenance staff start strike over wages

Image of an Air-Algerie plane [File photo]
Air Algerie plane [File photo]

Maintenance workers at Algeria’s national airline company, Air Algerie, began yesterday a surprise strike action demanding higher wages.

The strike led to the suspension of all domestic and international flights run by the national airline departing from all the Algerian airports.

Algerian state radio reported that the company’s management began negotiations with the staff to restore service to the various airports in Algeria.

Read: Current economic system in Algeria ‘fragile’ and ‘unsustainable’

The Secretary General of the Union of Maintenance Staff, Ahmed Botomi, said the negotiations conducted by the union with company officials did not lead to anything new.

“The administration wants the staff to wait until 2018 to improve their wages, provided that the company’s financial situation improves,” Botomi said, adding that the union wants to review the pay gap between the maintenance staff and other staff members of the company including pilots and air hosts.

Algerian Transport Minister Boudjemaa Talai said in February that the company made little profit in 2016.

The Algerian government has been trying to restructure the company for years, dividing it into four branches: air transport, shipping, catering and maintenance in addition to cutting staff from about 10,000 employees to about 6,500.

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