Flight operations might be disrupted in Nigeria as aviation unions have announced that they would embark on strike from April 17th to 18th, 2023, over the plan of the federal government to demolish Lagos offices of aviation parastatals and the delay to review workers Condition of Service, (CoS) as negotiated between the unions and four aviation agencies seven years ago.
Other reasons given for the planned industrial action included non-implementation of minimum wage consequential adjustments and arrears for the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) since 2019 and the planned demolition exercise of all the agency buildings in Lagos by the Minister of Aviation for an airport city project, known as aerotropilis.
In a notice of a two-day warning strike to workers of all aviation agencies, signed by the scribes of the five unions, it insisted that if the warning strike fails, an indefinite strike shall ensue.
The unions included National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), National Association of Aircraft Pilots (NAAP) and Engineers and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees.
The unions which signed the notice said they had earlier issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Minister of Aviation since February 7, 2023 on the same matter.
According to the notice, the ultimatum had since expired and nothing tangible had been yielded from their efforts.
“Recall our unions as named above issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Honourable Minister of Aviation and specific aviation parastatals since February 7, 2023 over the following demands: non-implementation of minimum wage consequential adjustments and arrears for the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NiMet since 2019, refusal of the Salaries, Income & Wages Commission, NSIWC and Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, OHCSF, to release the reviewed Condition of Service, CoS, of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT and Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet , as negotiated between our unions and the Agencies, and as duly conveyed by the Federal Ministry of Aviation since upwards of nine years.
“The ultimatum has since expired and nothing tangible has been yielded from our efforts and that of the Ministry of Aviation. Furthermore, it has become evident that the Minister of Aviation remains adamant in carrying out his threat to demolish the headquarters of FAAN, NAMA and NCAA in Lagos, despite all our entreaties towards caution.
“In view of the foregoing and unless the demands are met , NiMeT consequential adjustment is implemented and the arrears paid, the CoS for NAMA, NCAA, NCAT and NiMeT are immediately released and the Minister’s demolition exercise is halted, all aviation workers are hereby directed to withdraw all services in the sector on April 17 and 18, 2023 as warning strike. Should the warning strike fail to achieve the desired results, an indefinite strike shall ensue. All workers should comply and all state councils and branch exco members shall enforce this directive without compromise,” the statement read.
The unions have directed all their members to comply with the directive while all state councils, branches and executives have been urged to enforce the directive without compromise.