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More troubles in aviation sector, as workers embark on two-day warning strike



Hadi Sirika asks Senate to approve new $461.8m loan for airports

Due to unresolved service conditions, employees of various agencies under the Ministry of Aviation have begun a two-day warning strike from Monday to Tuesday.

During a demonstration on the issue, Mr Dauda Nanbol, Chairman of the FCT National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), said that the move was required because the unions’ strike notices had gone unheeded.

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) are among the agencies engaged in the protest.

Nanbol stated that efforts by the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) to settle the difficulties have not yielded any beneficial results.

“Consequently, our unions have no alternative than to embark on an industrial action to press home our demands for justice and equity.

“Especially, considering the long-suffering, patience and forbearance on the part of our members.

“Accordingly, all workers in NAMA, NCAA, NiMet and NCAT are hereby directed to embark on a two-day warning strike from Monday to Tuesday.

“Should the warning go unheeded, an indefinite strike shall be called soon after,” he said.

Mr Alao Adesina, NiMet Chairman and President of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), praised the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for implementing the 10% Consequential Adjustment.

According to Adesina, the initiative helped FAAN Conditions of Services stand out among the competition.

He praised the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), which is set to undertake talks with unions soon, pending a decision on the bureau.

Mr Uzor Oluchi, NUATE-NiMet branch, said the NSIWC had been negotiating with the agencies for seven years.

He said that for the various agencies within the Ministry of Aviation, the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustment has remained unimplemented since 2019.

“Workers in all aviation organisations including FAAN and AIB are hereby directed to support and cooperate with the unions to ensure full compliance and success of the warning strike.

“Air travelling public, all aviation business, including the foreign airlines are informed of the above circumstance and should review their itineraries and schedules accordingly, “ he said.

In an interview on Monday, Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, weighed into the recent reversal of the Airlines Operators of Nigeria regarding a shutdown in business activities due to rising operating costs as evidenced by the high price of Aviation fuel.

On Sunday, the AON called off their planned suspension of flights which was billed to commence on Monday, 9 May.

Only a day before the suspension of flights was scheduled to begin, the association announced that it was postponing the decision due to national economic and security concerns.

Read also: Airline operators win fight, as NNPC agrees subsidy on aviation fuel for three months

In the interview, Irukera said, “It is a violation for stakeholders to restrict competition and constrict supply which is why the commission must ensure a level playing ground with respect to competition laws.

“There are discussions regarding the various issues and we recognize the grouse of the AON considering the cost of aviation fuel but we must understand that the sector is crucial to the economy which is why we sought to avoid a shutdown.”

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