Aviation workers begin two-day warning strike over poor welfare

Aviation workers have insisted that they are commencing a two-day warning strike on Monday (today) over poor welfare emanating from their employers.

The Secretary General of the National Union of Air Transport Employees, Ocheme Aba, in a chat with our correspondent in Lagos on Sunday, said that there was no going back on the planned strike.

He pointed out that their employers were yet to implement the conditions of service which both parties had agreed.

Aba also said that the minimum wage approved by the Federal Government in 2019 had not impacted the public sector workers.

“There is no change in the plans as at this moment. We are still going on with the two days warning strike. Our own strike does not have anything to do with the supposed strike by the Airline Operators in Nigeria. Our grievance is that we have conditions of service that we agreed with our management since 2013, 2018 while and 2019. Up till now, they have not completed their processes.

“The minimum wage that was approved in 2019 has not impacted the public sector workers in aviation up till now. So, these are the things that are leading to the two days warning strike which will last between Monday and Tuesday. We have had so many engagements and they have not done anything in those regards. The effect is that all the whole services in the aviation sector will be withdrawn – all services rendered by workers will be withdrawn.”

Speaking on measures on ground to ensure compliance by her members, the NUATE scribe said, “We know how to ensure compliance and I am promising you that there would be compliance. Workers are the ones that are aggrieved, so we don’t need to push or beg them to comply. There would be full compliance, but how we would do that is our business,” he noted.

The National Union of Air Transport Employees, the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees had earlier directed their members in the critical services of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology to ground all activities for the period.

Aba was reported to have said that the industrial action was the last resort, following failed attempts to negotiate new conditions of service for NAMA, NCAA, NiMeT, and NCAT.

“Consequently, our unions have no alternative but to embark on an industrial action to press home our demand for justice and equity, especially considering the long-suffering, patience, and forbearance on the part of our members that have now reached a difficult point.

“Accordingly, all workers in NAMA, NCAA, NiMeT, and NCAT are hereby directed to embark on a two-day warning strike on May 9 and 10, 2022. Should the warning go unheeded, an indefinite strike shall be called soon after,” Aba said on behalf of the coalition.”

Article first published on the Punch Website

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