Flights Suspension: Domestic Airlines Call Off Action While Aviation Unions To Embark On 2 Days Warning Strike

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By Lawani Mikairu, Vanguard Newspaper

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Domestic airline operators, under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, have called off their planned suspension of flights which was billed to commence on Monday.

A statement signed by the President of AON, Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, and endorsed by other members said they have listened to the appeal by stakeholders and the Federal Government for them not to withdraw their services.

The statement read: “The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) wishes to inform the general public that further to numerous calls from the highest echelons in Government with promises to urgently intervene in the crisis being faced by airlines due to the astronomic and continuously rising cost of JetA1, that the AON has acceded to requests to withdraw the action for the time being while we allow for a fresh round of dialogue with the government in the hope of reaching an amicable solution.

“We have also reached this decision with the highest consideration for our esteemed customers who have been faced with uncertainty over the last few days and to enable them to have access to travel to their various destinations for the time being during the period of discussions with relevant authorities.

“In view of the above and in the interest of national economy and security considerations, AON hereby wishes to notify the general public that the earlier announced shutdown of operations on May 9, 2,022 Is hereby suspended in good fate pending the outcome of hopefully fruitful engagement with government,” the AON President said.

Relatively, aviation worker’s unions, namely, the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, ANAP, Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, are to commence a two-day warning strike today (Monday) over a “workers’ negotiated conditions of service  and other sundry issues that  have been neglected for nine (9) years.”

Speaking on the planned strike, the General Secretary of NUATE, Ocheme Aba said 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.

In a notice to the staff of these agencies signed jointly by General Secretary, NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba,  Secretary-General, ANAP, Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu and General Secretary  AUPCTRE, Comrade Sikiru Waheed read 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 and remain unimplemented since 2019.

The statement read in part: “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.”

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