The ongoing RAM luggage handlers’ strikes continue to affect operations at Mohammed V International airport.
Rabat – The Royal Air Maroc (RAM) luggage handler’s strikes, which have plagued the airline since April 2019, caused further chaos on June 21, at the Mohammed V International airport in Casablanca.
Unwilling to wait, passengers invaded the staff-restricted area of the airport and even the tarmac to retrieve their luggage.
RAM subcontracts the loading and unloading of checked luggage at the Mohammed V-Casablanca airport to General Private Interim (GPI).
GPI workers have been involved in a string of untimely and repetitive strikes over the past 3 months.
The airline affirmed in a statement early June 2019 that the repetitive strikes have caused disruption of traffic at the Mohammed V-Casablanca airport.
The handlers’ strike has tainted the image of Morocco’s leading airline, RAM. The company has responded to complaints by systematically pointing fingers at its subcontractor, although the airline ticket is a contract between the passenger and the company, not the luggage handlers.
A GPI officer confirmed that “an agreement is in the process of being signed with the representatives of our employees so that the strike ends and that the peak season proceeds normally in terms of luggage delivery.”
The current conflict possibly originates from the approaching end of the contract between GPI and RAM Handling, expected in September 30. The National Office of Airports (ONDA) launched earlier this month, an international call for proposals to companies willing to manage baggage handling in Moroccan airports.
This handling market alone accounts for 75% of the handling of luggage in Moroccan airports. The remaining 25% is provided by two international companies that do not experience any strike action.
GPI, on the one hand, aims to win this market of nearly 2,000 people (luggage transport, cleaning, security).
On the other hand, it faces a union whose representatives are pushing staff to multiple strikes in order to force their employer (GPI) to get better wages from their client (RAM Handling) under the new contract.