The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has called on employers of labour in the Nigerian aviation industry to embrace dialogue, rather than resort to sack of employees in a period of global crisis.
The union said employers, especially airline operators should abide by the terms of the employment contracts as much as possible, even in a crisis period.
These were parts of the communiqué issued at the end of the symposium organised by the NAAPE with the theme: ‘Labour Relations in a Pandemic: Challenges to Employer and Employee,’ in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, recently.
The communiqué was jointly signed by the President and General Secretary, NAAPE, Abednego Galadima and Comrade Olatunji Sekoni, respectively.
Participants at the one-day symposium said social dialogue between employers and employees would go a long way to create a win-win outcome for an organisation.
The communiqué also appealed to employers in the period of pandemic to endeavour to ensure safety at work and comply with the Employee Compensation Act, stressing that once there is adhered to, mistrust, which usually exists between employers and employees would be erased.
Participants further charged the governments at all levels to ensure quick mediation in labour cases within the industry and charged it to proffer stable policies that would ensure growth in the sector.
Besides, they canvassed for adequate training for aviation personnel, especially pilots and engineers, whom it described as critical workers in the sector, adding that it behooved on the government and employers to ensure support funds, improved health care services within the airport and reduction in airport charges for workers.
The communiqué added, “Participants thanked the government for supporting airlines with palliatives and requested for more government support particularly in accessing forex, owing to the enormous losses the airlines suffered.
“Also, participants emphasised the need for employers in the aviation sector to maintain and always ensure the sanctity of all Labour Laws and the fundamental human rights of workers, especially the right to belong to a union.”
In his opening speech, Galadima said it was necessary to bridge the existing gaps between pilots, engineers on one hand and airline operators in the industry with the aim of promoting a harmonious relationship between the two.
Galadima stated that NAAPE, the umbrella body of pilots and engineers in the industry was working assiduously with airline operators to ensure the return of some of its members placed on ‘leave without pay’ by their employers due to the pandemic.
Galadima lauded the federal government for the recent palliative released to business organisations in the industry, but appealed for increased interventions from the government for the sector in order to make it stronger.