Arik Air bows to pressure…lifts embargo on staff unionism

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*Chris Ndulue...Arik MD

Employees of Arik Air can now belong to trade unions in the aviation industry, thanks to the persistence of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Air Traffic Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, (ATSSSAN) as well as National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE).

Following successful talks with the airline’s management, the three unions have inducted their executive members at the airline’s headquarters at the local wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

Hundreds of the carrier’s staff joined the available unions.

Speaking at the in swearing-in of the executives and members, NAAPE’s assistant general organising secretary, Mr. Femi Ajagbe said the induction signified a new beginning not just in the airline, but also in the entire aviation industry.

He said the unions would ensure that the welfare of members is not taken for granted.

He also pledged the unions’ support to the airline in its developmental plans.

“It is really a welcome development for us to have members in Arik Air. Arik Air is the biggest airline in the industry with the highest number of staff.

“Our major aim is to grow the industry, ensure that workers welfare is well taken care of while we will also ensure that the airline continues to grow and remain in business,” he said.

He added that the unions had made progress to unionise the staff of Dana Air, Air Peace, First Nation Airways, Med-View Airline and some other carriers and organisations in the industry.

Prior to the unionization of Arik staff, the unions had a running battle with the airline over its uncompromising stand on staff membership of any trade union in the aviation industry.

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