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Monday, July 22, 2024

Aviation Strike: Airport Workers Set To Shut Down Airport

Aviation workers in Nigeria will begin a two-day warning strike on Monday (today) over the non-release of their revised Condition of Service negotiated with four aviation agencies over seven years, as well as the planned demolition of their Lagos offices.
Herald Reporters had reported that airports across Nigeria would be closed for the next two days as a result of this strike.
The unions issued a notice last week informing their members to prepare for a warning strike on Monday, April 17th, and Tuesday, April 18th, adding that if the warning strike failed to achieve their demands, they would go on an indefinite strike.
They stated that they had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the aviation minister on the same issues on February 7, 2023, but that nothing was done about their complaints until the ultimatum expired.
The unions are the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), National Association of Aircraft Pilots (NAAP) and Engineers and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees.
The unions’ grievances include the failure to implement minimum wage consequential adjustments and arrears for the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) since 2019, as well as the refusal of the Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) and the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (OHCSF) to release the reviewed Conditions of Service of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT).
Daily Sun reported that on Sunday, April 16, the heads of the agencies held a Zoom meeting with the national leaders of the unions and pleaded with them to persuade their members to call off the strike, citing the industry’s devastating impact. They also promised to meet the unions’ demands, with NiMet Director General Mansur Matazu stating that the structural adjustment would take effect when employees receive their April paychecks.
The union leaders expressed disappointment at the emergency meeting, which was hosted by the DG of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, and attended by the human resource directors of the agencies as well as the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Aviation, that the promises made over a year ago after negotiations between the unions and the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, had not been kept.
When the issue of the planned demolition of the NCAA, FAAN, and NAMA offices in Lagos was raised, a representative from the Ministry of Aviation assured that no demolition would take place until the relocation allowance was paid to all affected employees, ensuring that no worker would be made redundant.
Airlines have also been concerned about the impact of the strike on their operations, with many frantically reaching out to union leaders for a resolution.
The Daily Sun spoke with Ola Banji, the spokesperson for Arik Air, about how the airline was preparing for the strike. He stated that the situation was still being monitored and that “when they reach the bridge, they will cross it.”


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