Aviation workers backtrack on strike
Leading unions in the aviation industry have backed down on threat to shut down airports nationwide.
The unions, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) confirmed to Daily Trust that the proposed strike has been suspended.
It would be recalled that the unions in a letter dated October 21, 2015, accused the the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) of not adhering to the condition of service with respect to promotion of workers and other welfare issues.
The letter jointly signed by the Secretary General NUATE and Secretary General NAAPE, Comrades Olayinka Abioye and Aba Ocheme, respectively, threatened to shut down the agency from Sunday mid-night.
However, a last-minute intervention by the NCAA authorities saved the sector from another round of strike, Daily Trust gathered.
The unions are agitating for promotion of their members which they claimed had been deferred since January and other conditions of service.
Parts of the letter read, “The management of NCAA has been playing some pranks so to speak because ordinarily, people who are due for promotion ought to have received their letters since January or thereabout, but as we speak those letters are not forthcoming. The management is trying to introduce a new policy that is not known to the condition of service. We are going to take legal steps to ensure that we do what we have capacity and capability to do’’.
However, both Abioye and Ocheme in separate interviews with our correspondent confirmed that the strike has been suspended.
“The management has accepted to suspend the commencement of the obnoxious promotion interview they slated for Monday to allow for discussion. So correspondingly, we agreed to suspend the strike till after our meeting with the management and ministry”, Ocheme said.
Spokesman of NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, also confirmed that the action had been suspended and that the unions and NCAA management would meet on Monday.
He said there was no truth whatsoever in the report that the airspace would be shut down.
“I hereby declare to the whole world that it is not true. Nigerian airspace is open for flight operations at all times. NCAA cannot be closing airspace. Our primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of air travellers. The issue we have with our workers’ union is being resolved’’, he said.
From right: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, with President, Nigeria Bar Association, Mr. Augustine Aleghe and Country Senior Partner, Price Water House Coopers, Nigeria, Mr. Uyi Akpata, during a lecture and dinner in honour of the governor by FGC Warri Old Students Association (FEGOCOWOSA), Lagos branch, at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos on Saturday.