Hundreds of traders operating from Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, members of the Airport Traders Association (P2B), took to the streets in protest and on occasion disrupted traffic leading to the airport on Friday, July 26, 2013.
A group of protesting traders, estimated at 500 by Seputarbali.com, briefly occupied the offices of Grama Vikash Kendra (GVK) - commercial space consultants/managers for the airport.
Led by the chairman of P2B, I Wayan Sukses, protestors brought posters on a “long march” that slowed traffic on Jalan Ngurah Rai Bypass before arriving at the GVK office.
The traders were protesting the increase in rental rates for retail space to take effect with the inauguration of the renovated airport later this year. Wayan Sukses told the press, “We will continue to protest until we meeting the head of the consultant company for the airport and our demands for relocation (within the renovated airport) are met.”
Sukses complained that the Airport’s Management, PT Angkasa Pura I, had issued promises to the traders who are members of P2B that they would be relocated and accommodated in the renovated airport facility.
The promised relocation, says Sukses, has yet to occur, adding, “The main point is this: we will continue to fight, even until a ‘Puputan’ (a ritual battle to the death), to defend or rights as the traders who have operated in the past from the airport.”
The latest protest is the latest in a series of demonstrations aimed at retaining local traders right to operated from the airport. The members of P2B contend that they are being quietly evicted from the new airport and are being denied their promised new space for retail sales in the new airport facility.
The Indian company in charge of the management of retail space at the airport, GVK, has set rental rates, bonds and minimum sales targets that local traders feel is beyond their financial and merchandising capabilities.
Following an earlier protest, an accord was reached between PT Angkasa Pura and P2B that assured that the traders working before the Airport’s renovation would find space to continue their businesses in the renovated air gateway.
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