The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) on Wednesday threatened to shut down the Aviation sector following the sack of dozens of its members.
It issued a two-week ultimatum to airlines who have sacked or plan to sack their pilots and engineers to rescind the decision, warning that they could no longer guarantee safety.
Daily Trust reports that Air Peace, Nigeria’s biggest carrier, and Bristow Helicopters operating in the oil and gas sector had sacked over 100 pilots and engineers citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pilots and engineers in the two organisations had earlier rejected pay cuts prompting the managements to take a drastic decision to sack them.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos, President of NAAPE, Comrade Abednego Galadima declared that pilots and engineers have resolved to withdraw services of pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers across all airlines.
He called on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to as a matter of urgency prevail on these airlines to stop what he called “the unilateral sacking of pilots and engineers.”
The association demanded that Bristow and Air Peace should immediately recall all sacked pilots and aircraft engineers until all labour issues were resolved.
“To say the 100 pilots and engineers are not only our members is unsubstantiated and we do not know this because the management did not engage us.
“And they cannot be using COVID-19 as an excuse because the cessation of flight operations did not affect essential services like the oil and gas and Bristow and Caverton were operating during the lockdown. In fact you’d recall that our members were held by the Rivers State Government during the lockdown, so how can they be using COVID-19 as an excuse,” he said.