Again, unions in the aviation industry have issued the Ministry of Aviation a 14-day ultimatum over some of its policies, including airport concessions which are currently in a ‘comatose state’.
A document obtained by Nairametrics indicates that six aviation unions are presently at a bottleneck with the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, over his deliberate decision not to address the labour issues before going ahead with the exercise.
The Unions’ warning: The document, signed by the General Secretaries of the unions, warned that it may be compelled to disrupt activities in the sector if the government didn’t reverse most of its unfriendly policies in the sector.
The unions specifically said that the airport’s concession should be put on hold pending the full resolution of all labour issues placed before the government by the unions as well as all questions bothering the integrity of the exercise.
According to the unions, they have collapsed the workers’ objection to the concession of the four foremost airports in the country; Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt into three-point labour demands.
The unions insisted that meeting these demands was their condition precedent for cooperating with the concession process, warning that failure of these would lead to a major crisis in the sector.
They also issued a ‘buyers beware notice’ to all potential concessionaires of the four airports, maintaining that they would resist the attempt until all the grey areas are addressed by the government.
Besides, the unions alleged that their call for the bids submitted by bidders for the concessions of the airports, which should be in the public space had been ignored by the government in the past years, stressing that this further heightened its fears that the exercise lacked transparency.
“Our unions as placed above will be unable to guarantee industrial peace in the aviation sector if after 14 days, hence this issue is not fully ameliorated,” the document added.
More demands by the unions: Some of the other demands of the unions are the inability of some of the agencies, like the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Nimet) to implement the minimum wage consequential adjustment, conditions of service for workers in all the agencies and removal of aviation from the essential service as recently “planted” in some of the new Acts governing the agencies.
The 14 days ultimatum elapses Tuesday next week.
About the aviation unions: The aviation unions are the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Amalgamated Unions of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAPE) and Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP-FAAN Branch).
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