There is anxiety in the aviation industry as the 14-day ultimatum workers issued to the federal government to down tools, comes to an end.
The workers are demanding the stoppage of the planned concession of airports pending the resolution of “all labour-related matters”, in addition to improved conditions of services in the aviation agencies.
The 14-day ultimatum issued by the six unions dated February 13, 2023 formally elapses today (Monday 27).
It was learnt the unions may meet this week to consider the next line of action which includes a warning strike. Union officials say there has not been any response from the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
The unions include the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Amalgamated Unions of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), National Association of Aircraft Pilot and Engineers (NAAPE) and the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP-FAAN branch).
A copy of the letter was sent to the Minister of Labour and Employment and the CEOs of all the aviation agencies.
The unions questioned the integrity of the concession process and also want the immediate implementation of the 10 per cent minimum wage consequential adjustment approved for NiMet.
The negotiated conditions of service for NCAA, NAMA, NCAT and NiMet should be immediately released by the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) and Office of the Head of Service, the unions sought.
“Our Unions as named above will be unable to guarantee Industrial peace in the Aviation sector if after fourteen (14) days hence these issues above stated are not fully ameliorated,” the unions said.
A source in the unions said, “As I am talking to you, there has not been any serious commitment from the government to listen to our demands and we might be left with no other option to embark on strike.”
When contacted, the Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation on Public Affairs, Dr James Odaudu, advised the unions to avoid being used to scuttle the progress of the sector, asking what the unions meant by labour-related issues.
He said, “More than 100 times, the Minister has addressed the issue that there would be no job loss in the concession.
“I’ll advise the unions not to allow themselves to be used. The minister has taken the issue of training and welfare of workers more seriously than any other minister before him.”
Odaudu also noted that if the airports are concessioned, the workers are still the beneficiaries as that would improve services at the airports and there would be more jobs.
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