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Aviation workers may ground industry Wednesday over welfare

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Minister begins town hall meetings

A coalition of aviation unions, yesterday, resolved to begin a nationwide industrial action on Wednesday barring unresolved disputes over workers’ salaries, emoluments and pensions.

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Rising from their Joint Action Committee (JAC) meeting, the unions said the decision was a follow-up to the seven-day ultimatum they issued last week.

MEANWHILE, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, will today begin a series of town hall meetings with industry stakeholders nationwide to highlight developmental issues of the industry in the COVID-19 era.

The unions have, however, urged members to shun the parley in protest against the airport concession programme of the Federal Government.

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The Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), last week, issued the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) the notice.

They are asking cash-strapped management to remit ₦N105.3 billion actuarial valuations as at 2016, as well remittance of all pension deductions to the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and immediate preparation of 2020 actuarial valuation.

Other demands include immediate remittance of all cooperative deductions, payment of child education grant, leave allowance, furniture grant, gratuity, COVID-19 palliatives, death benefits and sundry claims.

The unions also demanded immediate payment of outstanding salaries, full payment of salaries and pensions, release of conditions of service (COS) and immediate implementation of a new national minimum wage.

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The stakeholders’ meeting was contained in a memo referenced FAAN/HA/1A/400/19/Vol 4/39, signed by the General Manager Administration, M.D. Musa and titled: Invitation for a Meeting with the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika’.

It read in part: “All staff are, therefore, enjoined to avail themselves of this unique opportunity offered by the honourable minister to present issues bordering on their welfare among other challenges, and offer suggestions that will move the organisation forward.

“The meetings are scheduled to hold in the South West in Lagos on Monday, October 12, South-South/ South East in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, October 13th; North Central in Abuja on Thursday, October 15th and North West/East in Kano on Friday, October 16.”

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