Judge puts ban on unannounced actions by air traffic controllers | THE DAILY HERALD

AIRPORT–The Judge in the Court of First Instance on Friday forbade Windward Islands Civil Servants Union/Private Sector Union (WICSU/PSU) to undertake, without written notice fourteen days in advance, any collective actions of which it is reasonably foreseeable that these could have negative consequences for air traffic to and from St. Maarten.

  The court ruled in summary proceedings filed by Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) Operating Company NV on Saturday January 15, in which the airport asked the Court to prohibit the union from launching another strike by air traffic controllers.

  In an emergency procedure on January 15, the judge prohibited the union to continue or support the “de facto” strike by air traffic controllers at PJIA on that same day.

  The judge ordered the union to call on its members to resume work from 5:00pm that day, with a penalty of US $100,000 for each hour that it failed to do so. The ruling determined that this prohibition applied until otherwise decided in summary proceedings.

  PJIA considered the strike, which started at 7:00am, and which led to cancelled and delayed flights and approximately 1,600 stranded passengers, “illegitimate and completely disproportionate”.

  Because, in the preliminary opinion of the court, the trade union should not be denied the right to collective actions of its affiliated air traffic controllers, the judge did not grant the airport’s claims.

  However, the judge prohibited collective actions that could reasonably be foreseen to have a negative impact on flight movements, in case the airport is not notified in writing of such actions at least two weeks in advance.

  In case of non-compliance WICSU/PSU will have to pay daily fines of US $100,000, with a maximum of $1 million. The ban will run until January 1, 2023.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/judge-puts-ban-on-unannounced-actions-by-air-traffic-controllers