The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), has dissociated itself from the strike by the labour movement which commences on Monday 28th September 2020.
President of the AON, Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, declared that the association representing domestic airlines “completely dissociates itself from the planned indefinite strike action called by Labour over the issues of Government’s recent increase of Fuel Price and Electricity Tariff in the country.”
Daily Trust however reports that all categories of Aviation workers including pilots and engineers have declared support for the proposed strike.
Four aviation unions had notified members of the intention to shut down the airspace with effect from 12 a.m on Monday.
But the AON President noted that airlines had suffered huge losses for over three months due to the COVID-19 lockdown when some of them were forced to even lay off staff and significantly reduce the salaries of those that were retained.
According to him, it would be insensitive to compound the woes of airlines by the proposed strike.
He also noted that it would not be in the interest of workers to go on another indefinite strike after suffering for over three months due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
But General Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Ocheme Aba in a chat with Daily Trust stated that AON in the first place was not part of the unions that declared the strike.
While saying there is no going back on shutting down the airspace, Aba said it is not only the interest of aviation workers that is at stake but the entire Nigerian workers and Nigerians as a whole. “So the strike is going on,” he said.
The AON statement added: “It would be very insensitive therefore and a show of lack of understanding and compassion for Nigerian Aviation workers who have suffered greatly from the nationwide restrictions due to the pandemic to be asked to go on strike indefinitely once again.
“Aviation workers need to work to sustain their livelihoods and support their families especially at this crucial time when schools are resuming around the country and they need all the financial support they can muster to survive.
“While we totally understand the concerns of Labour of the need to make Government see reason with and identify with the challenges being faced currently by the masses and recently worsened by the ripple effects from the sudden increase in fuel price and electricity tariff, we call on the leaders of the various Labour Unions to continue to dialogue with government to find a middle ground that will be a win-win situation for all parties.
“It is not in the interest of Aviation Workers to be asked to go back home indefinitely once again after barely resuming operations very recently and the airlines are still trying to recover from the lockdown and making concerted efforts to survive and secure the jobs and livelihood of its workers.”