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Arik Air dismisses pilots over ‘acts of indiscipline’

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Arik Air, on Thursday, dismissed several of its pilots over what it called ‘acts of indiscipline.’

In a statement emailed by its Spokesperson Banji Ola and titled, ‘Arik Air dismisses some pilots for illegal strike,’ the airline blamed the affected pilots for embarking on a strike action without recourse to laid-down procedures.

The ICIR gathered that the affected pilots refused to work on Tuesday after efforts to sort welfare issues with the company’s Receiver Manager Kamilu Omokide failed.

It also stressed that the this was not the right moment to strike, noting it was a festive season.

The statement read in part, “The management of Arik Air (In Receivership) on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 dismissed several of its pilots for gross acts of indiscipline. The affected pilots were dismissed for embarking on a strike action without recourse to lay down procedures.

“The pilots did not serve a strike notice in accordance with labour laws. They neither submitted any issue of dispute to the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), their umbrella union, nor did they submit any statement of demands to the management of the company. There were also no ongoing discussions between the management and the pilots on any unresolved labour issues. Their actions were spontaneous and callous.

“Arik Air finds it rather treacherous of the pilots to contemplate a strike action at this Yuletide season which is the peak period for airlines all over the world. They peddle for naught the reputation and financial health of the company.

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“It is instructive to note that the management of the airline has of late had very fruitful discussions with relevant aviation unions including the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), on conditions of service for all employees. This has led to the signing of a robust condition of service and redundancy benefits for staff.”

The airline also lamented that the impact of the strike action led to the cancellation of the flights which caused discomfort to its customers, promising to minimise the inconveniences caused.

Ola who spoke to The ICIR on Thursday morning on the telephone declined to reveal the number of pilots affected.

“That is the way we want it,” he responded.

Meanwhile, Public Relations Officer of NAAPE Francis Igwe promised to get back to our correspondent regarding the matter.

Around this time last year, the airline sacked 300 workers.

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Experienced Business reporter seeking the truth and upholding justice. Covered capital markets, aviation, maritime, road and rail, as well as economy. Email tips to jolaoluwa@icirnigeria.org

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