Passengers stranded as aviation unions embark on strike

Passengers stranded as aviation unions embark on strike

Flights were disrupted in Nigeria’s main airports in Abuja and Lagos as the union of aviation workers embarked on a two day warning strike in order to press for several demands, including salary increments and staff welfare.

Monday’s strike followed the government’s failure to release recently reviewed aviation working conditions and adjust pay to match the new minimum wage.

The unions are also advocating the implementation of the conditions of service signed with the staff of the aviation agencies.

The workers, however, threatened to shut down the country’s airports should the Nigerian Government fail to meet their demands.

The unions that embarked on the strike included NUATE, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical (AUPCCST) and Recreation Services Employees.

Meanwhile the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Aviation, had issued a strong plea to aviation unions to end their ongoing strike.

In a statement issued in Abuja by the Head, Press, Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, Odutayo Oluseyi, noted that the management of the Ministry of Aviation was open to continuous engagement to enhance welfare of workers.

The statement read in part: “Let me reiterate that while we are appealing to the unions to sheath the sword, the management will view seriously any behaviour by any union likely to lead to a breakdown of law and order at our airports.

“It should be noted that the planned demolition of certain buildings obstructing the runway is in public interest and an administrative issue that can be sorted in-house.

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“The unions should have met with management of agencies for alternative accommodation to all affected offices before going ahead with the strike.

“On the Concession of airports, the unions are aware of global practices and for the aviation industry in Nigeria to be the hub in Africa, the concession is the way to improve infrastructure and make our airports economically viable as this is without loss of jobs.

Continuing, the statement further read: “The unions should also note, if they are not already aware, that consequential adjustment of the minimum wage has been finalised and about to be paid anytime soon.

“We have always conveyed this information in the several conversations and meetings held with the unions. The management of the Ministry of Aviation is open to continuous engagement with the Unions to improve their welfare.

“The Ministry wishes to appeal to the unions to call off the strike and join hands with management to make the Aviation industry a hub in Africa.”

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