AVIATION unions have threatened to go on strike in the next one week over alleged failure by the Federal Government to release negotiated conditions of service in aviation agencies since 2013, and non-implementation of the Minimum Wage/Consequential Adjustment since 2019.
In a letter addressed to the Federal Ministry of Aviation and many agencies in the sector, the unions threatened to down tools from the midnight of Tuesday February 8, 2022, unless the government met all their demands.
The statement, jointly signed by the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), demanded the full cooperation of all members of the unions.
The statement read in part, “All Conditions of Service of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and any other aviation agency pending before the Ministry of Aviation, National Salaries, the Incomes and Wages Commission and the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, or any other organ of government or management of the agencies must be released wholly for implementation with the effective date of the signing of the agreement between our Unions and the respective agencies, and the new minimum wage/consequential adjustment must be immediately implemented with effect from the Law’s effective date of April 2019.
“Accordingly, all branches and State Councils of the undersigned unions are to commence joint and individual mobilisation of aviation workers nationwide, and ensure total compliance with this directive in all stations of operations of the six aviation agencies without fail.”
The unions informed all airlines, ground handling, aviation security/logistics, in-flight catering, and other aviation-related businesses, as well as the travelling and general public, that aviation services would be unavailable as from the given time until the issues were fully resolved.
In 2020, many passengers were stranded after aviation unions shut down Arik Air operations following the airline’s failure to pay staff salaries.
Arik Air was understood to have laid off over 90 per cent of its workforce, a commonality that has risen since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.