Home » Africa: Aviation Unions backs down, heed Minister’s plea to suspend strike

Africa: Aviation Unions backs down, heed Minister’s plea to suspend strike

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Minister agencies operators aircraft council aviation Aviation Unions Hadi Sirika

Aviation Unions in the Nigeria’s aviation sector have heeded to the appeal by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika to shelve the industrial action embarked upon to by the groups.

The unions comprising the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN); the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) and the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) had embarked on strike on Monday crippling air operations in the sector following the ability of the agencies of the industry and the unions to reach a compromise for a better welfare package and the planned demolition of offices of aviation agencies to construct an airport city project called aerotropolis.

The aviation minister in a press release had expressed his displeasure at the ongoing warning strike by the Aviation Unions in spite of efforts at meeting the demands of the workers.

READ: Africa: Air Travellers stranded as Aviation Unions commence Two-day warning strike, barricade all access road into airports across Nigeria

Sirika said, the strike was unnecessary as it will increase the hardship on the citizens, affect flight schedules, lead to economic losses and negatively impact on the ratings of the sector globally.

He said: “On the grievances prompting the strike by the Unions, these are issues that should not lead to strike.

“It should be noted that the planned demolition of certain buildings obstructing the runway is in public interest and an administrative issue that can be sorted in-house. The Unions should have met with management of Agencies for alternative accommodation to all affected offices before going ahead with the strike.

“On the Concession of airports, the Unions are aware of global practices and for the Aviation industry in Nigeria to be the hub in Africa, the concession is the way to go to improve infrastructure and make our airports economically viable as this is without loss of jobs.

“On Conditions of Service in some of the Agencies, it is work in progress. The National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission is already carrying out assessments and will soon conclude.

“The Unions should also note, if they are not already aware, that consequential adjustment of the minimum wage has been finalized and about to be paid anytime soon. We have always conveyed this information in the several conversations and meetings held with the Unions.

“The Management of the Ministry of Aviation is open to continuous engagement with the Unions to improve their welfare. However, this can only be done in an atmosphere of peace and mutual respect.

“Let me reiterate that while we are appealing to the Unions to sheath the sword, the Management will view seriously any behaviour by any Union that is likely to lead to a breakdown of law and order at our airports.

“The Ministry wishes to appeal to the Unions to call off the strike and join hands with Management to make the Aviation industry a hub in Africa” he said.

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