The retirees of the former Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited, SAHCOL, have appealed to the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, to pay them their redundancy benefits after the privatization of the company in 2009.
The retirees at a news conference at the headquarters of the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, in Lagos said, many of their members have died without collecting a dime for their hard work while many were incapacitated and on their death bed without money to take care of their health challenges.
Mr. Ochai Adamu speaking on behalf of the former SAHCOL retirees said they have approached the current Management and owner of SAHCO on the matter only to be told that SAHCO as a private company after it privatization was not responsible for the payment of their benefits.
According to him, the first disbursement in 2013 was peanut compared to what they were expected to be paid and over 12 years since the company was privatized no ex-staff had received anything.
He said, out of the 982 staff over 20 of them have died.
“The issue is who will pay this money.? SAHCO MD said it is BPE that will pay the money, they said we did not work for SAHCO but for the government, the first money was paid in 2013 bit it was a peanut, our lawyers took up the matter in 2013 but majority of our people have died, more than 15 people, some are unable to walk”.
Another retiree, Mr. Samuel Kolawole explained that there was an understanding that both SAHCO and BPE would work out the payment modalities but nothing had been done since then and their case seems to have been kept in view for more than 12 years.
“Instead of paying the N3.5n they negotiated more or less the issue was in the industrial court they said, we should settle out of court that was last year ever since that time we heard anything about it again. They have no reason to delay the payment haven reached an agreement and they have said they are going to pay and they have even drawn the modality of payment, what is causing the delay between BPE and SAHCO management?”.
The ex-staff of SAHCOL said, they were tired of waiting and has issued a 7-day ultimatum to the BPE to pay them their redundancy benefits.
The SAHCOL retirees also carried placards with different inscriptions that read; “BPE and SAHCOL pay us our benefits, 7 Days Ultimatum for payment of our benefits and chanting solidarity songs.
Reporting by Nosa Aituamen; Editing by Tina Oyinsan