There are strong indications that activities may be paralyzed at Arik Air beginning on Tuesday due to aviation unions’ plans to embark on an indefinite strike,
A circular signed by the leaderships of the three unions – the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Air Transport Senior Staff Services of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) – and made available to our correspondent accused the Arik Air management of unnecessarily sacking union leaders.
The circular, which was jointly signed by Comrades Olayinka Abioye, Frances Akindele and Aba Ocheme, the General-Secretaries of NUATE, ATSSSAN and NAAPE, respectively, said that the strike would take effect at midnight on Tuesday.
They declared that the strike would continue indefinitely until the management of the airline allowed total unionization of its employees in compliance with extant labor laws and with respect to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The unions also demanded the recall of all sacked employees who were allegedly victimized for their efforts to unionize Arik Air workers.
According to the unions’ statement, they are also going on strike to demand the payment of salary arrears of seven months.
The circular further demanded “immediate review of all employee remunerations, which have remained the same since inception of Arik Air over 10 years ago; immediate commencement of negotiations of Conditions of Service to be concluded within four weeks; remittance of pension, tax, and statutory deductions to the appropriate authorities,” adding that the management of Arik “should comply with Nigerian Expatriate Quota law.”
The unions declared that towards the full realization of the strike action, all aviation workers, in complete solidarity with their comrades in Arik Air, would withdraw all services being rendered by third parties, adding that the aviation workers would be supported by Nigerian workers from all other sectors throughout Nigeria to underscore the seriousness of the matter at hand.
It added that all ground handling services, security clearances for Arik Air ticket holders, marshaling, aviation fuel supply, air traffic control and safety inspection among other services would be completely withdrawn.