Saturday, May 3, 2008

Air Jamaica flight attendants awarded retroactive pay for their work on the ground

Air Jamaica cabin crewFlight attendants who worked for Air Jamaica between 2003 and 2005 are going to be paid retroactively for duties they carried out on the ground before and after flights, according to a recent news item on Radio Jamaica. The payments were awarded by an Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT) ruling handed down in February this year, following a five-year dispute between the airline and its cabin crew.

The article quoted President-General of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) Kavon Gayle, who said, "[Payments will be made] beginning this month, May and June...this payment will also be made to flight attendants who have left the company and those whose positions were made redundant in 2005 bearing in mind that the payments are retroactive from 2003 to 2005."

More than 500 flight attendants will receive retroactive special duty allowances that Air Jamaica failed to pay them for duties carried out before and after flights.

The premise of this case is similar to another I wrote about last month. In that case a flight attendant sued Israeli carrier Arkia Airlines for pay she says is owed her for work she did while on the ground. Two cases don't exactly make a trend, but these disputes do call attention to the widespread practice of not compensating flight attendants for work they do on the ground before and after flights, much of which is directly related to flight safety. Kudos to the Industrial Disputes Tribunal for their decision in the Air Jamaica case.

[Photo Source]