Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has expressed concerns over incessant strikes by aviation unions, saying the last two-day warning strike shouldn’t have been contemplated.
He said dialogue should always be the way to go in resolving issues of workers’ welfare.
Sirika spoke in Lagos at the 2023 Strategic Aviation Unions’ Leadership Conference organised by the Federal Ministry of Aviation in partnership with the Joint Aviation Trade Unions’ Forum (JATUF).
He was represented at the event by the Director of Human Resources and Administration in the ministry, Mrs Nkechi Nwokocha,
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The two-day conference where the minister was jointly honoured by all aviation unions for his stewardship in the last eight years had as its theme, “Reinventing Trade Unionism for Sustainable Growth and Development in the Nigerian Aviation Sector.”
Daily Trust reports that a two-day warning strike by aviation workers last week over a pay rise and welfare issues disrupted activities in the aviation industry.
Sirika who is the longest serving aviation minister stressed the need for a continued harmonious relationship between the unions and the ministry.
The representative said, “You (unions) need a paradigm shift on how you deal with the government on any critical issue at hand. Whenever the unions move with the government, there will always be positive results. We are partners in progress. A good working environment will cause workers to deliver their best.
“The government is not unaware of the current challenges. We regret the recent industrial action which should not have been contemplated. We need dialogue to resolve all matters and everything must be done to actualise a more prosperous aviation industry.”
However, the President of the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), Malam Kabir Gusau, said the unions were pushed to the wall because the issues had lingered for the past five years.
He however commended the National Assembly for its intervention, expressing optimism that the next meeting fixed for May 9 would resolve all pending issues.
Chairman JATUF and President of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Illitrus Ahmadu, represented by the President of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Abednego Galadima, said with proper leadership and innovation, the interests of the workers would be protected.
Director-General of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), Akin Olateru, an engineer, urged the unions to think beyond fighting for a salary increase.