Speaking on the planned strike, General Secretary of National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, Ocheme Aba, said all operations at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA; Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, as well as Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, would be grounded with that of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT.
In a notice to staff of these agencies, signed jointly by General Secretary, NUATE, Ocheme Aba; Secretary General, ANAP, Abdul Saidu, and General Secretary, AUPCTRE, Sikiru Waheed, said the issues concerning condition of service of NAMA, NCAA, NiMeT, and NCAT as negotiated with agencies for upwards of seven years remained with the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, NSIWC, and the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustment, which had remained 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 two-day warning strike on May 9 and 10, 2022. Should the warning go unheeded, an indefinite strike shall be called soon after.”
Consequently, passengers who will be directly affected by the unions’ strike have called on the unions to shelve their action since the domestic airlines were also threatening to suspend flight operations.
A passenger, Mr John Odu, told Vanguard that the unions should not join airlines to cripple the economy.
Domestic airlines call off action
Meanwhile, 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 today.
A statement signed by the President of AON, Abdulmunaf Sarina, and endorsed by other members, said they had listened to the appeal by stakeholders and the federal government not to withdraw 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 crises 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 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, 2022 is hereby suspended in good fate pending the outcome of hopefully fruitful engagement with government.’’
Recall that the operators had planned to suspend flight operations today in protest against rising cost of aviation fuel, which now sells for N700 per litre.