Pay strikes halt flights at Libya’s main airports


Libya’s three main airports cancelled flights on Tuesday morning because of strikes by ground staff complaining they have not been paid for two months, airport officials said.

The walkouts highlight a public finance crisis in the oil-producing North African country where two rival governments are competing for power. Authorities are struggling to pay salaries because oil revenues, the country’s lifeline, have slumped due to chaos and instability.
“(Ground) staff started a strike yesterday because they have not been paid for two months. They are demanding quick solutions,” said Abdulsalam Buamoud, spokesman for Tripoli’s Mitiga airport.

Misrata airport, east of Tripoli, cancelled all flights for the same reason, a spokesman said.

The main eastern airport, Labraq, was shut because of staff demands over pay and equipment, its manager Abubaker al-Obaidi said.

Flights at Tripoli and Labraq were due to resume on Tuesday afternoon but Mohamed al-Ayab, one of the protesters at Misrata airport, said more strikes would happen throughout the week until their demands had been met.