‘Aviation Not Essential Service’, Union Replies Minister As Strike Enters Day 2…
Written by City Radio on April 18, 2023
One of the aviation unions on a two-day nationwide strike has described as “a fallacy”, a claim by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika that the aviation sector is an essential service and should not embark on strike.
The General Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Ocheme Aba, stated this on Tuesday.
The minister, had in January 2023, said with the new Act of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), industrial actions are illegal as aviation has been classified as an essential service.
However, about three months after, aggrieved unions including NUATE, the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), amongst others embarked on strike on Monday.
Scores of flights have been affected in the country and thousands of local and international passengers stranded as protesting aviation unions grounded airports in Nigeria on Monday over the non-release of the reviewed Condition of Service, planned demolition of Dominion and EAN hangars, amongst sundry issues.
The industrial action, which entered day 2 on Tuesday, has continued to leave many passengers at the receiving end of the two disagreeing elephants – the Federal Government and the striking unions.
Commenting on the industrial action, Aba said, “The meeting of Sunday was deadlocked because with all the government present, nobody could give a guarantee of when the Conditions of Service for the agencies will be released. So, we were also unable to give any assurances of not going on strike.
“However, we understand that the Salaries and Wages Commission has also convened another meeting with the agencies today. We are not invited to the meeting so we don’t know what discussions are ongoing and how that will pan our relevant to the situation at hand.”