Airports across Yemen had to close down for several hours this Tuesday after Union representatives called on all workers to suspend their activities as a result of a dispute with the Treasury.
Workers at the Civil Aviation Authority declared a general strike at both the Ministry of Transport and airport as to exert pressure onto the government and push through their demands.
The longstanding dispute, which has seen officials at the Ministry of Transport and the Finance Ministry argue over the independence of the civil aviation, led to the Treasury freezing the AVA’s funds and ultimately the Union movement.
"The strike is ongoing until our demands are met," an official told the press under cover of anonymity.
In Sana’a, Aden and Mukalla, all airports came to a complete halt, with no flight being allowed to arrive or depart.
The Union issued a public statement in the local media, explaining why it had to move to such extreme, stressing that “the interference of the finance ministry in the civil aviation authority's financial affairs has made it difficult for the body to meet its expenses, including the trains' operating costs and the staff salaries and benefits.”
The Civil Aviation Union noted that after the Finance Minister ordered the withdrawal of $50 million from the funds, thus putting Yemen aviation in financial jeopardy, it was left with no other choice then to take drastic actions.
The Treasury has over the years taking into the habit of using funds from the Civil Aviation to cover other public expenses.
It is only after Transport Minister Waeed Abdullah Bathib intervened, by promising that all funds would be promptly reimbursed that the Union agreed to suspend its action.
“It has been agreed to suspend the strike till Wednesday,” the minister told striking workers at the airport in Sanaa.