Workers’ Condition Of Service Issues Were Neglected For Nine Years-Aviation Unions
Labour unions in Nigeria’s aviation industry have explained the reason there will be no going back on the warning strike scheduled for Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th, May 2022, stating that the issues surrounding workers’ negotiated conditions of service and other sundry issues have been neglected for nine (9) years.
On Friday, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals as well as the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees issued a special bulletin to staff of aviation agencies nationwide to intimate them on a warning strike.
According to General Secretary of NUATE, Ocheme Aba who spoke on the impending industrial action, all operations at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency ( NAMA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency ( NiMet) as well as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) would be grounded along with that of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology ( NCAT).
Technically, this will affect air traffic controllers, safety inspectors and other key safety personnel within the industry.
In a notice to staff signed jointly by General Secretary, NUATE Comrade Ocheme Aba, Secretary General ANAP Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu and General Secretary AUPCTRE, Comrade Sikiru Waheed they hinted staff that despite best efforts, the issues concerning Conditions of Service of NAMA, NCAA, NiMeT, and NCAT as negotiated with Agencies for upwards of seven years remain with the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC), and the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustment remain unimplemented since 2019.
The statement read, “Consequently, our Unions have no alternative than to embark on an industrial action to press home our demand for justice and equity, especially considering the long-suffering, patience and forbearance on the part of our members which has now reached yield point.
“Accordingly, all workers in NAMA, NCAA, NiMeT and NCAT are hereby directed to embark on a 2-day warning strike on the 9th and 10th of May, 2022. Should the warning go unheeded, an indefinite strike shall be called soon after.”
Aba who gave details also stressed that since 2019, there was a new national minimum wage act and even till date, all the agencies mentioned have not been impacted by this minimum wage act.
He said,” The patience of the workers in the aviation agencies have since run out and we have passed yield point, we have not yielded and the system has not broken down and that remains a miracle but our unions have run out of excuses for our members as to why workers are denied these benefits they have earned, some for up to nine(9) years.
“Our demands are simple. We have negotiated conditions of service since 2013 and up till now, they have not been released. We have 2019 National Minimum Act that is yet to impact on a nation’s workers
“Recently, the Wages Commission approved 10% across board increment as a Consequential Adjustment to agencies. It remains unimplemented.
“We have two problems with that flat 10% approval. As percentage increase is grossly inevitable, if a person earns N1m, 10% of that is N100,000 and if someone earns N70,000, 10% is N 7000. This is grossly inequitable. We have insisted there has to be a graduated percentage increase as a flat increase cannot work for us.”