Aviation unions vow to ground flights February 8 over minimum wage, others

Nigeria’s four major aviation unions on Wednesday vowed to ground activities in the sector from Tuesday, February 8, 2022, over the failure of the Federal Government to release the negotiated conditions of service of aviation agencies since 2013 and the non-implementation of the National Minimum Wage/consequential adjustment since 2019.

In a notice of industrial action jointly signed by officials of the unions and issued to aviation workers, the associations said flights and related activities would be brought suspended.

The unions include the National Union of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees.

“By this notice, all airlines, ground handling companies, aviation security/logistics, in-flight catering, and other aviation-related businesses, as well as the traveling and general public, are hereby notified that aviation services will be unavailable as from the given time until the issues are fully resolved,” they declared.

The aviation workers’ union recalled that they had earlier sent ultimatums to the Federal Ministry of Aviation and its six agencies about workers’ concerns but nothing was done.

The notice read in part, “As you are all aware, our unions variously issued ultimatums to the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the six aviation agencies over the vexed issues of failure to release negotiated conditions of service of the agencies since 2013 and the non-implementation of minimum wage/consequential adjustment since 2019.

“All the ultimatums expired January 31, 2019, without the demands being met in any form. The meeting called by the Federal Ministry of Aviation on the same January 31, 2013 did not resolve the issues as there was no clear assurance from the ministry/managements’ delegation towards meeting our genuine demands.

“In the circumstance, our unions are left with no choice but to take the next obvious step. In this regard, all aviation workers are hereby directed to commence the total withdrawal of services from midnight of Tuesday, February 8, 2022, unless, and until, otherwise directed in this same manner.”

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The six agencies include the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Nigeria Meteorological Services Agency, Accident Investigation Bureau, and the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology.

The unions advised the managements of FAAN, NCAA, NAMA, NiMet, AIB, and NCAT, in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Aviation to utilise the one-week window so provided to avert the looming crisis by prevailing on the relevant government agencies to act jointly to ensure that workers’ twin demands were met.

They said, “All conditions of service of the NCAA, NAMA, FAAN, NiMet and any other aviation agency pending before the Ministry of Aviation; National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission; the Office of the Head of Civil 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.”

Article first published on the Punch Website

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