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Aviation unions issue notice of strike

Four unions in the Aviation industry have issued a two weeks’ notice of an impending strike if government agencies fail to pay full salaries of their respective workers.

The two weeks’ notice is an agreement reached by the unions, the National Union of Air Transport Employees(NUATE),Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE),after an emergency meeting held on Tuesday.

In an open letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari and jointly signed by the General Secretaries of the unions, they say urgent steps need to be taken as regards the full payment of worker’s salary by government agencies.

They stated that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency NAMA had already informed their in-house unions about its inability to continue to pay normal salaries.

While the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN was forced to pay full salary for the month of May after the unions threatened to go on strike, adding that it will take a miracle to pay that of June.

“The situation requires urgent attention and mitigation to avert a looming national crisis”.

“It took commendable effort on the part of the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to pay salaries for the month of May.The possibility of another such miracle for the month of June is rather bleak.

“At the same time, the management of NAMA has informed its in-house Unions about its inability to continue to pay normal salaries.” And as in within public domain,most Aviation companies have sent their workers home without salaries for months now while some are paying only a fraction of salaries to workers on essential duties compelled to come to work.”

The unions say the adverse socio-economic situation imposed by the COVID19, workers have been dealt a larger portion of the burden to bear due to no fault of theirs, adding that the burden has become unbearable for the workers.

According to the unions, they can no longer contain the wailings of their members and should the situation of no salary or incomplete salary remain beyond the 15th of June, 2020,the only option left for them will be to ask all aviation workers to remain at home pending when their salaries can be guaranteed.

This option they say will be inevitable as they are unable to justify the continuation of the present unfairness whereby the workers have to use their own meagre resources to finance their commune to and from work under the very difficult COVID19 transportation challenge.

Nosa Aituamen

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