NCAA mediates in Arik Air-unions industrial dispute

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has waded into the industrial dispute between Arik Air and the labour unions which resulted in the disruption of the airline’s operations on March 23.

The intervention led to the resolution of the conflict which pitted the labour unions comprising the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and National Association of Aircraft Pilot and Engineers (NAAPE) against the management of the airline.

“The management of Arik Air and labour unions in the aviation industry has resolved the impasse with labour unions led by the Lagos State branch of NUATE, ATSSSAN and NAAPE in a meeting mediated by NCAA.

“Arik Air hereby announces the normalization of operations with effect from tomorrow, Friday morning on all routes.

“The management equally apologises to its customer for the disruption of services following the picketing of its operations by the unions.

“We sincerely apologise to our customers for the disruption of our operations today caused by the picketing of our services. We have resolved the issue with the unions and wish to inform the traveling public that our services will resume tomorrow (today).

“We reassure our customers of on time departure and great travel experience and look forward to welcoming them onboard our flights,” said the airline in a statement.

The airline added that it had reactivated its online platform for customers to book and pay online through its entire network.

It would be recalled that the unions had shut down the airline’s operations for 24 hours on March 23 over unfair labour practices allegedly perpetrated by the carrier.

The issues bordered on the review of conditions of service, remittance of union workers’ deductions to their respective unions as well as reinstatement of sacked union workers.

It would also be recalled that since Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) took over the management of the beleaguered airline on February 9, it has been one week, one crisis for the airline.

The airline which had 28 aircraft was struggling with a toxic debt of over N300 billion.

Presently, less than 10 of the aircraft are in service while Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG) has been hired to undertake a forensic audit to ascertain the airline’s true financial status.

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