Aviation industry unions led by the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) are set to picket the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) this Wednesday over the non-release of promotion letters to all members of staff who sat for and passed the last promotion exercise in the agency.
A source close to one of the unions told our correspondent on Sunday that the unions were prepared to shut down the aviation regulatory agency on Wednesday, July 19.
The source told our correspondent that all entreaties to the Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, to effect the promotion failed.
He said that the leadership of the NCAA failed to respond to any of the letters written to it by the industry unions, which necessitated the planned picketing of the agency this coming Wednesday.
The unions had on June 29, 2017, issued the NCAA a one-week ultimatum to the NCAA to address all the issues raised by them, which elapsed on July 5.
At the moment, the unions, it was gathered, are mobilizing the state council leaderships for the picketing.
“Our leaderships at the national level have told us to be prepared for total grounding of NCAA this Wednesday. It seems the Director-General in NCAA have made up their minds not to listen to the demands of the unions, which is primarily on staff welfare,” the union source said.
“How can someone sit down for an examination, pass, and yet the Director-General will use his fiat to say they should not be promoted, not because of lack of money, but because he felt they came from a particular region of the country while some who are not qualified are given accelerated promotion?
“This bias against some staff of the organization was what led to the death of one of our staff last month. This thing has to stop. We need to put a stop to it.”
The unions, in a petition signed by the General Secretary of NUATE, Comrade Olayinka Abioye, had demanded for, among other things, the release of promotion letters of all members of staff who sat for and passed the last promotion examination in the agency.
The unions also accused the agency’s management of favoritism and engagement of unqualified personnel from outside the industry.
The petition also alleged that the management, via a letter to the Ministry of Aviation, said it would only promote one out of five staff who sat for and passed the promotional test.
The union insisted that such maltreatment of workers would not be tolerated by it and urged the management to resolve the promotional issue without favoritism.
The petition, which was also copied to the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Aviation, the General Secretary of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the Commissioner of Police, the Airport Command, the Director of State Security, and several others, pointed out that some of the members who were due for promotion in the past seven days had been denied the privilege.
The petition also stated that in the same vein, management had not been able to explain how and why someone without any knowledge and or background in air transport would be brought into the system and placed on the GL16 level at the expense of more suitably qualified personnel.