Following the sacking of 100 pilots and engineers by Bristow Helicopters and 69 aircraft pilots by the Air Peace Airlines, aviation workers union is set to withdraw the services of pilots and aircraft maintainable engineers across all the airlines.
The union under the aegis of National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) gave a two-week ultimatum to the airline operators or face industrial unrest.
Addressing journalists in Lagos yesterday, the National President of NAAPE, Mr. Galadima Abednego called on the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to as a matter of urgency prevail on all airline operators to stop forthwith their unilateral and reckless sacking of pilots and engineers under the pretence of COVID-19 pandemic just like a sister regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) did in the banking sector.
He said: “We call on Federal Government of Nigeria to speedily release the promised relief package for the airlines and other government agencies to further save jobs and businesses.
“We want to strongly advise that airlines operators that insist on laying off workers should not benefit from the largesse.
“As a result of the known consequences of these illegal actions and our commitment to patriotic fervor, we shall be forced to withdraw our guarantee of industrial peace within the industry if this call is not heeded within two weeks. Our union will be left with no other option but to withdraw the services of pilots and aircraft maintainable engineers across the airlines
“We will no longer condone a situation where airline operators go to government for relief packages and in turn punish Nigerians in whose name government gave the relief. Our laws must be respected and our airspace must be save secured and stable. It is our responsibility and we are prepared to take action before it is too late”.
Also speaking, the Vice Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Tokunbo Korodo said the union has the full backing of the NLC.
He said now that the union is more united, it will be easier.
“They have the total support of the NLC because injury to one is injury to all. We expect operators to go into meaningful negotiation with the union.
“As you know that we have a united labour union, NLC, so should expect that the fight we be sweet. However, our door is open for negotiations, “ Korodo said.