The leadership of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) has resolved to shut down the operations of Arik Air as from 12 midnight today.
In a joint statement issued in Lagos and signed by Mr. Olayinka Abioye for NUATE, Ms. Frances Akinjole for ATSSSAN and Mr. Aba Ocheme for NAAPE, the unions said ground handling services, security clearance for Arik Air ticket holders, marshaling, aviation fuel supply, air traffic control, safety inspection, will be completely withdrawn.
“The aviation workers will be supported by Nigerian workers from all other sectors throughout Nigeria to underscore the seriousness of the matter at hand. All Arik Air employees, aviation workers, and other stakeholders are hereby enjoined to ensure full compliance with this directive please,” said the unions.
They said the industrial action would continue indefinitely until the airline meets all their conditions.
The conditions are that the management of Arik Air allows total unionisation of its employees in compliance with extant labour laws and with respect to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
They also asked the airline’s management to recall all sacked employees who had been victimised for their roles in the effort to bring about unionisation in Arik Air.
Besides, they demand for payment of salary arrears of seven months with commitment to pay salaries as at when due hence forth.
Furthermore, the unions demanded “immediate review of all employee remunerations which have remained the same since inception of Arik Air for over 10 years.”
They also asked for the immediate commencement of negotiations of conditions of service to be concluded within four weeks.
The unions also asked for the remittance of pension, tax, and statutory deductions to the appropriate authorities as well as compliance with the Nigerian expatriate quota law.
To ensure the effectiveness of the strike, the unions said all the aviation workers to will withdraw all services rendered by third parties.
Efforts to get the airline’s reaction failed as its spokesman, Mr. Ola Adebanji could not be reached on phone. Calls made to his mobile phone line could not get through.