Union kicks as Kenyan Air­ways sacks 22 Nige­rian work­ers

...NUATE frus­trated talks, car­rier al­leges

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - Mau­reen Ihua-maduenyi

The Nige­rian Union of Air Trans­port Em­ploy­ees has said it will em­bark on an in­dus­trial ac­tion to protest against the sack­ing of 22 Nige­ri­ans by the man­age­ment of Kenyan Air­ways.

The Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of NUATE, Mr. Olayinka Abioye, told our cor­re­spon­dent on Mon­day that the air­line’s ac­tion was a vi­o­la­tion of Nige­ria’s labour law, adding that the union would re­act ac­cord­ingly.

“What they have done is null and void and is of no ef­fect; they must call the work­ers back and con­clude the ne­go­ti­a­tions in accordance with the laws. Nige­ri­ans are law-abid­ing peo­ple and it is now ob­vi­ous that Kenyan Air­ways came to test the wa­ters and we will not ac­cept that. In­dus­trial cri­sis is im­mi­nent with what Kenyan Air­ways has done,” he added.

Abioye said the union had yet to con­clude ne­go­ti­a­tions with the air­line be­fore the work­ers were asked to go.

Kenya Air­ways had on Fri­day sacked 22 out of its 26 Nige­rian em­ploy­ees, rep­re­sent­ing 86.4 per cent of the en­tire work­force in the coun­try, and re­tained only the coun­try man­ager, the sta­tion man­ager and two oth­ers.

Sources at the air­line al­leged that the work­ers were is­sued their dis­en­gage­ment let­ters in the pres­ence of po­lice of­fi­cers, who were en­gaged to pre­vent a pos­si­ble break­down of law and or­der.

how­ever, the air­line on Mon­day ac­cused NUATE of fail­ing in its duty to pro­tect the in­ter­est of its mem­bers.

In a let­ter made avail­able to jour­nal­ists dated April 11, 2018 and ad­dressed to Abioye, the car­rier said the union had picked dif­fer­ent dates of Fe­bru­ary 15 and 26, March 6 and 16, and April 5, 2018 for a meet­ing with its man­age­ment but failed to hon­our any of the ap­point­ments, but rather gave ex­cuses for its in­abil­ity to at­tend the sched­uled meet­ings.

The let­ter, signed by the Act­ing Chief hu­man Re­sources Of­fi­cer, Kenya Air­ways, Brid­gette Im­buga, read in part, “De­spite our dis­plea­sure, we du­ti­fully in­dulged you and agreed to hold the meet­ing on the 16th of March, 2018. Al­though, you kept us wait­ing at your na­tional sec­re­tariat’s con­fer­ence room for the bet­ter part of the af­ter­noon, you fi­nally turned up for the meet­ing at 4:30pm lo­cal time on the 16th of March, 2018.

“how­ever, you de­clined to dis­cuss the re­dun­dancy sub­ject and in­stead pro­posed that we pick an­other date to specif­i­cally ne­go­ti­ate the re­dun­dancy pay­ments. Af­ter con­sid­er­ing each party’s com­mit­ments, you per­son­ally pro­posed 5th of April, 2018, which we mu­tu­ally ac­cepted and firmed up. It was there­fore shock­ingly dis­ap­point­ing and un­ex­pected that you failed to at­tend the meet­ing on the agreed date with­out any apolo­gies or prior no­ti­fi­ca­tion, not­with­stand­ing the fact that the man­age­ment team had trav­elled to La­gos and were more punc­tu­ally present for the meet­ing at the ap­pointed venue.

“From the fore­go­ing, it is clear that you are un­will­ing or un­in­ter­ested in en­gag­ing the man­age­ment in ne­go­ti­a­tions on such an im­por­tant mat­ter af­fect­ing em­ploy­ees who are your mem­bers. On our part, we have demon­strated our will­ing­ness and com­mit­ment to use our best en­deav­ours to ne­go­ti­ate sep­a­ra­tion terms for the em­ploy­ees who will be af­fected by the re­dun­dancy.”

•L-R: Head, Cor­po­rate Ser­vices, De­vel­op­ment Bank of Nige­ria, Mr. Idris Sal­ihu; Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Chair­man, Ver­dant Zeal Group, Mr. Tunji Olug­bodi; Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor/ceo, De­vel­op­ment Bank of Nige­ria, Mr. Tony Ok­panachi; and Edi­tor, Van­guard, Mr. Eze An­aba,...

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