Airport stoppage ends with promise of no reprisals

A two-day strike by South African workers on St Helena’s airport project has ended.

Sixty five workers were reported to have returned to work after a meeting with management related to employment conditions.

Basil Read, the company building the airport, said the workers’ grievances did not relate to living conditions in the workers’ accommodation at Bradley’s Camp.

The company said no workers would be dismissed or sent back to South Africa because of the stoppage, though some would be leaving the island on home leave.

The Sentinel newspaper quoted staff as having said: "It is not a strike – we have just put down tools and are not working."

The paper carries reports indicating a serious breakdown in relations between staff and the island-based management. The stoppage coincided with the arrival on St Helena of Jimmy Johnston, Basil Read’s overall director on the project.

However, the paper’s suggestion that the strike put the airport schedule in jeopardy has proved to be somewhat overblown.

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