• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Airport strike: Ministry promises to address condition of service for unions

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The ministry of aviation has called on unions to end the strike, promising to address the condition of service, one of the reasons for the unions’ strike action.

In a statement by Odutayo Oluseyi, head of press & public affairs, improving the conditions of service in some of the agencies is work in progress.

“The National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission is already carrying out assessments and will soon conclude,” he stated.

Oluseyi said the unions should also note that consequential adjustment of the minimum wage has been finalised and about to be paid anytime soon.

He said the ministry has always conveyed this information in the several conversations and meetings held with the unions.

“The Management of the Ministry of Aviation is open to continuous engagement with the Unions to improve their welfare. However, this can only be done in an atmosphere of peace and mutual respect,” Oluseyi said.

“While we are appealing to the Unions to sheath the sword, the Management will view seriously any behaviour by any Union that is likely to lead to a breakdown of law and order at our airports.”

He appealed to the unions to call off the strike and join hands with management to make Nigeria’s aviation industry a hub in Africa.

The aviation unions had on Monday blocked strategic areas and entrances to the terminal with their vehicles and were seen singing and chanting solidarity songs, insisting the strike would continue if their demands were not addressed.

However, aircraft were later seen taking off and landing at the airport on Monday as passengers were allowed to enter the terminals to board their flights.

The aviation unions had vacated the airport premises by 12 noon, as vehicular movements again returned and passengers accessed the terminal buildings seamlessly.

Aviation Unions had yesterday said there would no going back on the total showdown of aviation activities in the country on Monday and Tuesday.

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They had also urged passengers to make alternative plans.

The unions had earlier in a notice to their members across airports in the country and aviation agencies issued a two-day warning strike to press home their demands for workers entitlements.

Their demands include approval and implementation of the agreement Condition of Service, (CoS), as agreed between them and the agencies by the Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission and the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

Others are; 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.

The scribes of the unions are the National Union of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees.

Oluseyi stated that the strike is unnecessary as it will increase the hardship on our citizens, affect flight schedules, lead to economic losses and negatively impact on our rating globally.

He stated that on the grievances prompting the strike by the Unions, these are issues that should not lead to strike.

“It should be noted that the planned demolition of certain buildings obstructing the runway is in public interest and an administrative issue that can be sorted in-house.

“The unions should have met with management of Agencies for alternative accommodation to all affected offices before going ahead with the strike.

“On the Concession of airports, the Unions are aware of global practices and for the Aviation industry in Nigeria to be the hub in Africa, the concession is the way to go to improve infrastructure and make our airports economically viable as this is without loss of jobs,” Oluseyi added.