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Air Madagascar: an endless strike that hurts tourism

300 employees on strike


One fourth of the employees of Air Madagascar is on strike since last June 15th. Despite the renewal of the Board of Directors, they refuse to get back to work. The conflict has already cost this suffering company close to 10 million euros.



Air Madagascar is struggling to find a solution to a social conflict that has been lasting for almost one month. DR Air Madagascar
Air Madagascar is struggling to find a solution to a social conflict that has been lasting for almost one month. DR Air Madagascar
After almost one month of striking, the new Board of Directors of Air Madagascar is trying to renew dialogue with union leaders.

To respond to some of the demands, it decided on Thursday, July 9th, to replace the Director Haja Raelison with a collective leadership while waiting for a new nomination in two months.

“The nomination of the future Executive Director will take place after an open and transparent recruiting process,” assures a press release.

The shareholders have also nominated six new administrators, with Léon Rajaobelina in the lead, advisor to the President and former Finance Minister.

Eric Koller, President of the Board of Directors of the National Tourism Office, is also part of the team.

The company is getting stuck in a conflict that penalizes touristic activity

Around 300 employees out of 1,200 are on strike since June 15th, leading to the cancelation of close to 475 flights for a loss of revenue of 12 million dollars (€10.7 million.)

The social movement had taken a more radical turn with the arrest of the union leader Rado Rabarilala, prosecuted for economic sabotage and criminal association.

In hope to appease the situation, the Board of Directors lifted all undergoing disciplinary sanctions and is going to withdraw its complaint in the criminal case.

A gesture that did not suffice to convince the employees. According to the Express of Madagascar, they are demanding the effective cancelation of the layoff of six agents.

The press release assures that there are still some “points of divergence.” Amongst those, the failure to contribute to pension plans, one of the causes of the conflict.

Let’s remember that the company is going through very difficult times. It still has not been taken off the Annex B of the European blacklist. And it has been in suspension of payments since last month.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also warned travelers on its website.

This situation has disastrous consequences for the touristic season. According to local press, half of the reservations for the Ranomafana Park would have been canceled.

Written by Laury-Anne CHOLEZ translated by Joséphine Foucher the 13/07/2015
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