All flights to and from Jamaica’s airports in Montego Bay and Kingston were canceled Thursday due to a walkout by air traffic controllers over protracted salary issues with the government. The canceled flights included at least 40 flights to and from the U.S., Canada and within the Caribbean.
Tourists in Jamaica scheduled to return home were stranded in their resorts, as well.
The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority was working to restore normalcy to Jamaica’s airspace in the shortest possible time, although there is no word yet regarding resumption of air service.
The walkout also included workers at the National Water Commission, causing thousands of customers to go without water. The 30,000 government workers represented by the Jamaica Civil Service Association earlier put the government on notice that strike action over wage reforms was imminent.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness urged public sector workers and their unions to be reasonable regarding their case for adjustments in wages and salaries, according to news reports.
“It is your work that keeps the planes coming in, the water flowing, keeps students in school and grows the economy,” Holness said.
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