Uganda: ENHAS Airport Ground Handlers

With one of the best airport safety records in Africa, collective bargaining with the transport union and investment in staff training has paid off for Uganda’s Entebbe Airport ground handlers ENHAS.

Date issued: 06 June 2008 | Size/duration: 00:02:34 (7.7 MB)
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It’s another busy day at ENHAS, the leading ground handling company at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.

Entebbe has one of the fastest growing airport passenger rates in Africa. 65% per cent of Uganda’s exports, like fish, fruit and flowers travel by air, so the success of ENHAS’ services plays an important role in Uganda’s economic development.

The key to its success, says ENHAS CEO, George Tytens, is its staff. When ground handling was privatised ten years ago and ENHAS was formed, worker’s rights was made a priority.

George Tytens, CEO, ENHAS

Very quickly we resolved that we should take on the concerns of the workers, we should try to integrate the expectation of the unions and I think we were lucky, we were able to do that.

Management agreed a set of terms and conditions with the transport union including education grants for workers’ children, and an HIV/AIDS prevention programme.

It’s the kind of successful collective bargaining agreement the International Labour Organization is working to promote across the East Africa region.

Mohammed Mwamadzingo, Senior Economist, Bureau for Workers’ Activities, ILO

We’ve seen in the last decade or so a major improvement on Freedom of Associations with employers and workers working together with the aim of enhancing the productivity of workers. For example in the case of ENHAS . It’s been able to bring workers and employers together for the benefit of their passengers at the airport as well as for the benefit of the aircraft that has been operating in this particular area.

Workers receive extensive training and experienced staff double as trainers. ENHAS is now certified by the International Air Transport Association to train airport staff from across Africa in dangerous goods handling.

The investment in staff has paid off. Workers feel a sense of collective responsibility and ENHAS drivers have a near zero accident record.

James Nyanduru, Senior driver and trainer, ENHAS

The thoughts which comes to my mind when I am driving towards the aircraft is in case I damage this aircraft or a machine how much will the company pay and how many are we going to lose generally, as staff, not me alone.

Highly skilled, committed workers, mean ENHAS customers like the UN, and this special cargo, are in safe hands.