By Adekunle Williams/Solomon Asowata
The unions in the aviation sector have directed the commencement of a joint strike at Arik Air, with effect from Dec. 20, over the airline’s failure to pay seven months salary arrears and other anti-labour practices.
The unions gave the directive in a strike notice obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.
NAN reports that the notice was signed by Mr Olayinka Abioye, General Secretary, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), and Mr Frances Akinjole, General Secretary, Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN).
It was also signed by the General Secretary of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Mr Aba Ocheme.
The unions said the strike would continue indefinitely, until their demands are met by the management of Arik Air.
Their demands include: “That the management of Arik Air allows total unionisation of its employees, in compliance with extant labour laws and with respect to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The management of Arik Air recalls all sacked employees who have been victimised for their roles in the effort to bring about unionisation in Arik Air.
“Payment of salary arrears for seven months, with a commitment to pay salaries as at when due, henceforth.”
They also called for the immediate review of all employee remunerations which had remained the same since the inception of Arik Air, over ten years ago.
The unions further demanded for immediate commencement of negotiations of Conditions of Service to be concluded within four weeks and remittance of Pension, Tax, and statutory deductions to the appropriate authorities.
They also urged the management of Arik Air to comply with the Nigerian Expatriate Quota law.
“Towards the full realisation of the strike, all aviation workers, in complete solidarity with their enslaved comrades in Arik Air shall withdraw all services being rendered by third parties.
“The aviation workers will be supported by Nigerian workers from all other sectors throughout Nigeria, to underscore the seriousness of the matter at hand.
“In the above respect, all ground handling services, security clearance for Arik Air ticket holders, marshalling, aviation fuel supply, air traffic control, safety inspection, etc, will be completely withdrawn.
“All Arik Air employees, aviation workers, and other stakeholders are hereby enjoined to ensure full compliance with this directive please,” the unions said.