MoBay immigration officers restive
MBJ Airports, the operator of Sangster International Airport in St James, says the disquiet among immigration officers is not affecting operations at this time at the Montego Bay-based airport.
Contacted this morning, MBJ said it is aware that immigration officers have employment concerns but pointed out that it is business as usual at the airport as the officers are still on the job.
The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre made unsuccessful attempts to get a comment from the Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA), which has responsibility for immigration officers.
Immigration officers are upset over the non-payment of an award by the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT).
Granville Valentine, President of the National Workers' Union, which represents some immigration officers at Sangster, says last month the IDT ruled that immigration officers at the Montego Bay-based airport should be paid the same special allowance their counterparts get at the Kingston-based Norman Manley International Airport.
Valentine says immigration officers at Sangster are paid $6,005 while those at Norman Manley are paid $30,000.
He says the IDT ruled that the immigration officers should also receive a retroactive payment to February 2013.
According to him, following a meeting last week PICA’s management said it could not say when the IDT’s ruling would be implemented.
The NWU President says the immigration officers and the unions are not pleased with this position.
According to Valentine, the union intends to seek the intervention of the ministries of labour and national security.