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Aviation workers to embark on strike over over salary cuts

President Muhammadu Buhari


By Our Reporter

Four prominent  unions in the aviation sector have threatened to embark on a nationwide industrial action in two weeks if government agencies in the industry fail to pay the full salaries of their workers.

This was disclosed in an open letter entitled ‘To avert crisis in the aviation industry,’ which was addressed to the President, President Muhammadu Buhari,  the unions said it was detrimental to tamper with aviation workers’ salaries at a critical time.

The unions include the National Union of Air Transport Employees; Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria; Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals; and Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees.

In the letter, which was sighted by our reporter, the joint unions painted a gloomy picture of the aviation sector with respect to workers’ welfare under the prevailing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They said, “The situation requires urgent attention and mitigation to avert a looming national crisis.”

They told the President that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria had to strive to pay salaries for the month of May.

“The possibility of another such miracle for the month of June is rather bleak,” the unions stated in the letter which was jointly signed by the Secretary-General, NUATE, Ocheme Aba; Secretary-General, ANAP, AbdulRasaq Saidu; Deputy Secretary, ATSSSAN, Francis Akinjole; and General Secretary, AUPCTRE, Babatunde Omotola.

They noted that at the same time, the management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency had informed its in-house unions about its inability to continue to pay normal salaries.

“Most aviation companies have sent their workers home without salaries for months now, while some are paying only a fraction of salaries to workers on essential duties who are compelled to come to work.

“While the adverse socioeconomic situation imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic is an act of God, there can be little debate that workers have been dealt a larger portion of the burden to bear due to no fault of theirs.”

“This burden has become exceedingly telling on the workers and the cost has become unbearable. Our unions can no longer contain the wailings of our members, the aviation workers.

“In the light of the above reality, our unions are constrained to serve notice that should the situation of no salary or incomplete salary remain beyond the  June 15, 2020, the only option left for our unions will be to ask all aviation workers to remain at home pending when their salaries can be guaranteed.” They concluded.




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