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Aviation workers threaten strike over welfare, others

By Wole Oyebade
03 February 2022   |   3:45 am
A coalition of aviation workers’ unions, yesterday, notified airlines and the public of total withdrawal of air travel services come February 8 in protest against poor welfare and non-release of the agreed Conditions of Service ..

A coalition of aviation workers’ unions, yesterday, notified airlines and the public of total withdrawal of air travel services come February 8 in protest against poor welfare and non-release of the agreed Conditions of Service (CoS).

The industrial action will ground both local and international flight services nationwide. The coalition, made up of members of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE),

Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), drew attention to government’s failure to release the negotiated CoS of the six aviation agencies since 2013 and non-implementation of minimum wage and consequential adjustment since 2019.

In a statement jointly signed by the unions’ Secretaries General, the coalition said it had no other choice than to strike, stating: “After all, our efforts to resolve the issue amicably have failed.”

The unions had variously issued ultimatums to the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the six aviation agencies over the issues, with the latest ultimatum expiring January 31 this year, without the demands being met in any form.

General Secretary of NUATE, Ocheme Aba, said in the circumstance, the unions were left with no option.

“In this regard, all aviation workers are hereby directed to commence total withdrawal of services from midnight of Tuesday, February 8, 2022 unless, and until, otherwise directed in this same manner.

“Accordingly, all branches and state councils of the undersigned unions are to commence joint and individual mobilisation of aviation workers nationwide and ensure total compliance with this directive in all stations of operations of the six aviation agencies without fail.

“By this notice, all airlines, ground handling, aviation security/logistics, inflight catering and other aviation-related businesses as well as the travelling and general public are hereby notified that aviation services will be unavailable as from the given time until the issues are fully resolved,” he stated.

The coalition advised the managements of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Nigerian Meteorology Agency (NiMet), in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Aviation, to utilise the one week window to avert the impending crisis by prevailing on the relevant government agencies to act jointly to ensure that the twin demands are met.