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Airport workers issue strike ultimatum over AMCON’s move on Arik Air

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Minister writes off Arik as national carrier, advises airline on how to key into govt’s vision

The National Union of Air Transport Employees on Saturday, March 13, issued a strike ultimatum regarding the potential change of ownership in Arik Air.

This stance was contained in a letter signed by the union via its General Secretary, Ocheme Aba titled, ‘We shall welcome NG Eagle with our solidarity song.’

According to the union, the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) has refused to clarify the fate of Arik Air’s employees.

It also stated that there was an ongoing foul play in AMCON’s decision to float a new carrier while still in receivership of Arik Air.

Read also: Aviation workers threaten govt over Abuja Airport closure

An excerpt from the statement reads, “Presently, AMCON is in receivership of two airlines – Arik Air and Aero Contractors – being a 60 per cent shareholder in the latter. One should then ask why AMCON would be floating another airline. We smell a rat.

“We decipher that AMCON’s unstated objective is to open a window of business opportunity as a way to recoup its heavy financial losses through the heavy debts in Arik and Aero.

“But, surely NUATE can’t be the only ones wondering what sort of business ingenuity there could be in running three airlines simultaneously.”

It added, “We have it on good authority that AMCON’s real intention is to sidestep the debt overhang, particularly in Arik Air, while continuing to make money from the airline business without any real capital injection.”

The statement further revealed that AMCON had already moved some personnel of Arik Air to NG Eagle while being loudly silent on the service records of such personnel in Arik Air.

It urged appropriate government agencies including the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to intervene in the matter and resolve all issues raised amicably.

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