The Management of Arik Air has sent a Save Our Soul, SOS to the Minister of Labour and Employment over the planned picketing of the airline by the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) tommorow in Lagos.
In a letter sighted by Radio Nigeria written to the Minister of Labour and Employment and copied the Minister of Aviation by the Managing Director of the airline, Captain Roy Ilegbodu, entitled “Re: Unions in Arik Air threaten to down tools September 14th”, appealed to the ministers to intervene.
The unions last week said they are embarking on the industrial action over alleged non payment of staff salaries since April after placing 90% of the workforce on compulsory leave.
According to the letter, Captain llegbodu described the call by the union leadership as an abuse of power, adding that the planned action is coming without an exhaustive use of the various channels of engagement, discussion, consensus and understanding.
He stated that this is faulty and unlikely to yield the best outcome for staff, the company and its faithful passengers, adding that the issues in dispute cannot pass the test of fairness and only affect, in the short term, less than 20 staff out of a work force of over 1600.
“We strongly believe that the threat of strike action without an exhaustive use of the various channels of engagement, discussion, consensus and understanding is faulty and unlikely to yield the best outcomes for staff, the company and its faithful passengers. It is in fact an abuse of the position of union leadership as the issues in dispute cannot pass the test of fairness and only affect, in the short term, less than 20 staff out of a work force of over 1600.”
The Arik air boss explained that prior to Arik Air Limited going into Receivership, the employment letters basically detailed the approved emoluments of staff, adding that since the commencement of the receivership, this has been expanded by the introduction of policies to create best practice work environments to deliver top notch services.
He however noted that management had been in discussion with various staff groups and unions to have these policies codified into Staff Conditions of Service and have a share of mind on most issues.