AIRLINE UNION DOES U-TURNS AND SOMERSAULTS
Information was received from Dar es Salaam, that the Communication and Transport Workers Union, representing the employees of Air Tanzania, is up to its old tricks and mischief again. The reports tell a story of details leaked to the media of growing discontent by workers with their present management, a situation which has in the past caused the airline serious problems and was thought to be a major reason why potential investors shied away from getting involved in a company where the unions, by the look of it, hold too many cards.
It is not surprising that they union now tries to put distance between the mess exposed in the public domain and their own role they might have played. They are known socialists and speak with forked tongues, but they are the biggest problem that airline has, not money or lack of aircraft but a workforce agitated by shopstewards ready to bring down any management not dancing to their tune. The problem here is that government said they would give money and with such public spats they might think again, seeing that nothing really has changed at ATCL said a regular aviation source from Dar es Salaam, who however admitted that he might be somewhat biased as he worked for a competitor of ATCL, before adding they have the biggest problems because of the history of the airline being state owned whereas private airlines have established a different sort of rapport with unions which those have come to respect.
Senior union officials held a meeting earlier in the week to discuss the damaging allegations made in a local news publication last week and hastened to assure the public that all was well in ATCL, not a view shared by too many in the aviation industry it seems nor by regular aviation analysts and observers in Tanzania.
ATCL only returned to the skies with their single Q300 aircraft in late 2011 after receiving their air operators certificate back from the TCAA but have found it hard to compete on the few routes they fly with private competitors offering generally better services and market fares, have newer aircraft and a motivated staff, something which is clearly lacking with ATCL, a company still pretending to be a national airline it once was but no longer really is. Watch this space as the Air Tanzania saga continues.