Seven months after the sack of 52 workers for lack of adequate aircraft for operations, Medview Airline has once again sacked 60 workers.
The sack is also coming months after the retrenched workers approached the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to intervene in the payment of their pension entitlements.
A statement by Alhaji Isiaq Na-Allah, the Executive Director, Business Development of Medview Airline, attributed the latest sack of 60 workers to economic crunch.
However, it was gathered that those affected by the purge included pilots, engineers and administrative staff, just like in the previous retrenchment.
The airline currently has one operational aircraft from its initial six, a situation, which led to retrenchment of workers.
At present, the airline, which was one of the leading carriers in the country — as it caters to flights to virtually all the major local airports, West Coast, Europe and, Middle East and Saudi Arabia — only operates one Boeing 737 aircraft, which operates Lagos-Abuja routes.
It, however, leased a Boeing 777-200 for the just-concluded hajj operations to Saudi Arabia with a promise to deploy the aircraft to London route immediately after the conclusion of the exercise, but four months after the completion of the exercise, the airline was yet to do so.
On the currently sack, the airline said: “Going by the realities of the prevailing economic situation, Medview Airline is currently restructuring in order to fully maximise its operation and prepare adequately for the challenges ahead.
“In the course of this exercise, some staff, about 60 in number, were required to step aside as a result of downsizing with a genuine intention to recall them back as soon as situation improves as stated in our letter to the affected staff.
“The decision by management on this exercise, though tough, is predicated on the need to achieve the best result with a minimum, but adequate work force. All the Staff affected have been adequately communicated.”
A source close to the airline confided in our correspondent that no fewer than 40 of the affected staff were pilots, engineers, cabin crew and dispatchers while others were administrative staff.
However, some of those sacked earlier in the year had approached PenCom to intervene in payment of their pension entitlements, claiming that the management stopped the remittance of their Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Entitlements in 2015, while they were still working with the company. The workers said they had made several appeals to airline’s management which had refused to listen to their appeal.
They said the refusal of Medview airline to pay their pension entitlements was a breach of the PenCom laws, hence the appeal for PenCom’s intervention.
One of the staff, who preferred not to be named, said the airline had also refused to remit deductions from salaries of Medview Airline’s staff Thrift and Cooperative Society.
The workers, who said they have been disengaged without terminal benefits, urged Pencom to intervene as prescribed by the Pencom Act.