By Our Reporter
The management of Arik Air has laid off 300 workers of the airline. The airline made this known in a statement on Friday.
The statement, signed by Adebanji Ola, Arik’s spokesperson, said the sacking is due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on its operations.
The statement, titled ‘Arik Air management declares 300 staff redundant’, noted that a redundancy package would be provided for the affected workers with the help of the aviation unions.
“Arising from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the constrained ability of the airline to complete heavy maintenance activities and return its planes to operations, stunted revenues against increasing operational costs, the management of Arik Air (In Receivership) has declared 300 staff members redundant to its current level of operations,” the statement said.
“The leadership of the impacted unions has been contacted to negotiate a redundancy package for the affected staff.”
The statement said over 50 per cent of Arik Air’s workforce of over 1,600 staff have been on furlough in the past six months on a base allowance.
“Decisions to let go of staff is naturally a difficult decision. Arik Air wishes the impacted staff well in their future endeavors,” the airline said.
Airlines have been some of the most affected businesses since the coronavirus pandemic broke out. Many airlines have had to cut costs and lay off staff to stay afloat.
The Union has vowed to intervene to ascertain reasons why the workers were laid off. In an interview with News Agency of Nigeria NAN on Friday, chairman of Arik Air Branch of the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) Mr Innocent Atasie, expressed shock over the sack of 300 Arik Air workers and faulted the management for taking “irrational decision’’.
He said that the management’s decision to sack was “unacceptable and ridiculous”.
According to him, the union is still discussing with the management on workers’ matters and there is ongoing negotiation.
“Since the management has taken the position to go ahead and sack our members, we will also go ahead and effect action.
“I am just hearing that Arik Air management has sacked 300 workers now. Well, the management is fighting back. We will also fight back.
“Sacking workers is not lasting solution to the problem.
“But, if that’s the management’s strategies to lay off workers without consultations and deliberation, they are not ready to resolve the issues,’’ he said.