L:R: Financial Secretary, NUATE, Secretary General, NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba, Secretary General, ANAP, comrade Abdulrazak Saidu and Comrade Bamidele Omotola, AUPCTRE
Labour unions in the aviation industry say flight operations in the country will be grounded on Monday next week over the failure of government to address the issues surrounding workers’ negotiated conditions of service, consequential adjustments and new minimum wage.
At a news conference in Lagos by the Secretaries General of three of the unions, the National Union of Air Transport Employees ( NUATE), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, say, despite many meetings held with government on the vexed issues for over 9 years, nothing had been done.
The unions on Friday issued a special bulletin to staff of aviation agencies nationwide to intimate them on a 2 day warning strike to commence Monday over the alleged non release, approval and implementation of the staff conditions of service, new minimum wage and consequential adjustment by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.
According to the General Secretary, National Union of Air Transport Employees NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba said, all operations at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency NiMet), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) would be grounded along with that of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology ( NCAT).
Technically, he said, this would affect air traffic controllers, safety inspectors and other key safety personnel within the industry.
“Consequently, our Unions have no alternative than to embark on an industrial action to press home our demand for justice and equity, especially considering the long-suffering, patience and forbearance on the part of our members which has now reached yield point”.
He stated that, despite efforts, the issues concerning Conditions of Service of NAMA, NCAA, NiMeT, and NCAT as negotiated with Agencies for upwards of seven years was still with the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC), and the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustment remained unimplemented since 2019.
Secretary General, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, ANAP, Comrade Abdulrazak Saidu also stressed that since 2019, there was a new national minimum wage Act and even till date all the agencies mentioned have not been impacted by this minimum wage Act.
He said, the patience of the workers in the aviation agencies have since ran out and the result of that was the action to be taken by the unions come Monday this week.
“Our demand are simple, we have negotiated conditions of service since 2013 and up till now they have not been released. We have 2019 National Minimum Act that is yet to impact on a nation workers”
Their counterpart in the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees,Comrade Babatunde Omotola emphasized that, what the unions were asking was for their members to be given their entitlement and when that was done, the warning strike would be suspended.
The unions threatened that, if after the 2-day warning strike and nothing was done, they would embark on an indefinite strike.