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Flight Disruption Looms As Aviation Unions Set To Shut Down Airports

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Four major aviation unions may withdraw their services if the much expected Condition of Services (CoS) being worked on, by the government is not implemented on time.

The aviation unions include the Air Transport Senior Services Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).

The joint leadership of the union had already asked each of the unions to take their respective decisions and convey the same to the appropriate authorities as the various unions could no longer tolerate such an unwholesome circumstance.

It was gathered that there is likelihood of the unions withdrawing their services, especially if their demands for their reviewed CoS are not met in the coming weeks.

In a communique issued at the end of the Joint Action Committee meeting of ATSSSAN, NUATE, ANAP and NAAPE held at the ANAP Secretariat over the weekend, the unions lamented the seizure of the approval of the reviewed CoS of Aviation Agencies including the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), which have been due for over 7 years.

Part of the document read, “After thorough review of the unfortunate seizure of the approval of the reviewed CoS of Aviation Agencies, including NAMA, NCAA, FAAN and NiMet, which have been due for upwards of 7 years, as well as non implementation of the minimum wage/consequential adjustment since April, 2019 in all aviation agencies, save the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT),the union has resolved that they have ran out explanation to their members as to the basis of the delay of the release of the CoS of the affected agencies.

According to the document jointly signed by the deputy general secretary, ATSSSAN, Comrade Frances Akinjole, general secretary, NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba, Secretary General, ANAP, Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu, Deputy Secretary General, NAAPE, Comrade Umoh Ofonime, the affected workers have severally expressed their resolution not to continue to render services without valid CoS.

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It further added that the leadership of the unions has approached government agencies, including the Federal Ministry of Aviation with very minimal results to the solution of the matter.

Earlier, Comrade Saidu had informed that ANAP will vigorously pursue the issue of workers Condition of Service (CoS) in 2022 to a conclusive end.

Speaking shortly after the joint meeting at his office at the Murtala Mohammed Airport on workers expectation in 2022, Saidu said the CoS has caused embarrassment to the unions and must be achieved this year in all the agencies in the sector.

Saidu, expressed the hope that all the unions in the industry this year, will speak with one voice to actualise this goal, adding that it has lingered for too long.

He noted that the main duty of the unions was to protect the working conditions of their members.

“Conditions of Service is very important, when you get approval, there must be a letter and by the Act, it’s the governing board of directors that is charged on day to day to approve the workers condition and promotion. It’s not vested in the ministry and the minister. He said in the absence of a board there will be an interim board.

Where is the interim board. So what is delaying them from writing letters and informing the chief executives of the state of the CoS?” Saidu asked.

He urged the Management of parastatals to appoint those that merit the appointment on the order of seniority and not to allow any vacuum.

Saidu advised the Chief Executives Officers of Aviation Agencies, not to encourage contract staff and also not to allow the retirees to come back as consultants.

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He urged workers to be ready to fight for their rights this year as the unions were ready to protect them.

On airport concession, ANAP scribe said it was a failed project as there was nothing to be concessioned at airports.

He added that the concession arrangement will never work until the labour matters were resolved on concession by setting up the committee to discuss their issues.

Warning that the proposed concession should not be done like that of moribund Nigeria Airways, he said “To me, I don’t believe there will be a concession because I only saw that the minister wanted to be in the news so that people will think he is working. How do you concession when you took loan from China? We have presented our papers, we have met with the NASS, we have met with him and we told him but he is not listening and it’s not feasible. But we have told him, if you want to concession even if it’s Aso Rock, you can concession but people working there must be paid their entitlement.”

He said they have met more than three times to set up a committee on labour matters, insisting that those workers who have served to a certain period must be paid accordingly, while the cut off years of the pensioners must be taken care of.

 

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