Activities at Bristow helicopters in Lagos this morning was grounded to a halt as members of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and its affiliate bodies in the aviation industry barricaded all entrance into the company premises.
The action is coming on the heels of the indefinite strike embarked on by Nigerian pilots and engineers in the employment of Bristow under the aegis of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE over labour issues.
The shut of activities in Bristow helicopter company in Lagos this morning commenced with a solidarity song.
Staff of the company who were looking forward to start work after the sallah celebration were shocked as they were barred from going into the company premises.
Executive members of the Nigeria Labour congress, NLC, the union at the center of the crisis, the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, used their vehicles to block the entry and exits gates to prevent staff and other persons from gaining access into the Bristow premises.
NAAPE’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Igwe said the union is pained over the ill-treatment of Nigerian pilots and engineers in the area of remuneration.
He said while expatriates were treated as kings and paid full salaries in dollars the exchange rate for Nigerians was nothing compare to their expatriates counterparts.
Mr Frank Igwe listed their demands; restart of the suspended Conditions of Service, CoS negotiations, fulfill the promise of employing Nigerians as young cadet and trainee engineers, adjust national engineers’ progression in tandem with expatriate nationals and global aviation standards among others.
In a statement, Bristow helicopters says they remain willing to engage and dialogue on the issues if NAAPE is ready.
It explains that it stopped the Pilots and Engineers Conditions of Service (COS) negotiations, recognizing the recent global outbreak of COVID 19, Bristow pilots and engineers have remained the best paid in their industry and have not suffered any reduction or change in their salaries, at a time when operations have reduced by 50%.