By Lawani Mikairu
Industrial strike looms in the Aviation sector as workers unions have given the federal government two weeks ultimatum to ensure payment of full salaries of aviation agencies workers.
According to the unions, namely; National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), the 2 weeks ultimatum was arrived at after an emergency meeting on Tuesday, 2nd June.
The unions in a letter jointly signed by, NUATE Secretary-General, OchemevAbah, Secretary-General, ANAP, Abdul Rasaq Saidu, Deputy Secretary, ATSSSAN, Francis Akinjole, and Babatunde Omotola of AUPCTRE, addressed to President Mohammadu Buhari said: “the situation requires urgent attention and mitigation to avert a looming national crisis”.
They cited the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency NAMA’s inability to continue to pay normal salaries and that it will take a miracle for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, to pay salary for the month of June.
The unions said: “It took commendable effort on the part of the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, to pay salaries for the month of May. The possibility of another such miracle for the month of June is rather bleak.”
“At the same time, the Management of NAMA has informed its in-house Unions about its inability to continue to pay normal salaries. And as in public domain, most Aviation companies have sent their workers home without salaries for months now while some are paying only a fraction of salaries to workers on essential duties compelled to come to work.”
” This burden has become exceedingly telling on the workers and the cost has become unbearable. Our Unions can no longer contain the wailings of our members, the Aviation workers.”
“In the light of the above reality, our Unions are constrained to serve notice that should the situation of no salary, or incomplete salary, remain beyond the 15th of June, 2020, the only option left for our Unions will be to ask all aviation workers to remain at home pending when their salaries can be guaranteed.”
“This option will be inevitable as we are unable to justify the continuation of the present unfairness whereby the workers have to use their own meagre resources to finance their commune to and from work under the very difficult COVID19 transportation challenge, ” the unions contended.