Striking Air Madagascar workers vow to push on with action


A strike by some workers at Air Madagascar that has grounded most of the state-owned carrier’s fleet neared one week, with union officials saying it would continue until the airline addresses their demands.

Last Thursday, strike leader Rado Rabarilala said the action was mostly over what he called poor governance and mismanagement at the airline, which serves 14 cities on the island and 13 foreign destinations.
“The strike will continue until we get something concrete,” Rabarilala told reporters late on Tuesday.

Haja Raelison, the airline’s chief executive, said if the strike continued, the airline would be unable to pay its bills.
“If this situation continues, this may end up in a cessation of payments. For now, it is difficult to say when it will happen, it will depend on the financial situation. But the situation is very serious,” he said.

Air Madagascar says most of its staff are not participating in the strike but that those on strike handled critical functions.
“The strikers are not numerous. They are a minority, but as the strikers are flight crew and ground handling agents, there is this deadlock situation,” it said in a statement.

The government directly owns 90 percent of Air Madagascar, while Air France owns 0.20 percent, staff and other individuals hold 0.12 percent and the rest is held by state-owned companies.

It has a fleet of 11 aircraft and employs 200 people.