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Aviation Unions suspend proposed strike

The planned industrial action by aviation unions on the non-implementation of the New minimum wage and release of the approved Condition of Service has been suspended.

Unions in the industry last week had threatened to ground flight operations in the country with the withdrawal of their services nationwide from today, February 8 if their request were not granted.

The suspension was announced in a communique jointly signed by the Ministers of Aviation, Labour and leadership of the five aviation unions after a meeting held on Monday in Abuja.

In the communique, it was agreed that on the matters of the minimum wage and consequential adjustment, the National Salaries, Income, and Wages Commission NSIWC should issue a Service of Wide Circular informing all organisations in the public and private sectors that they are bound to implement the wage and adjustment.

While the Ministry of Aviation is to do the same to all agencies under its supervision, requesting them to implement it without further delay and clarify that the payment became effective from April 18, 2019, when the minimum wage was signed into law.

It also adds that those that have exited the system during the period to date would also be paid arrears.

It was also agreed that the financial aspect for the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA and Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA will be resolved by the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS) by the third week of February as it concerns the approval and release of the reviewed conditions of service while that for FAAN has been released since 2019 but there were issues which were observed and have been forwarded to the Ministry.

For the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, the communique notes that the financial implication of the CoS has been approved by the PCS and the implementation process has been concluded except for hazard allowances which would be reconsidered by the NSWIWC on a sectorial level.

At the end of the meeting, it was unanimously agreed that by March 31, 2022, the Ministry of Aviation must ensure the approval, release and implementation of the reviewed CoS for all the workers in the agencies under the aviation ministry.

At the meeting from the unions’ side were; the President, National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Abednego Galadima, National President of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Illitrus Ahmadu, National President of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Ben Nnabue, National President of the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), Kabir Gusau and the National President of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service and Technical Employees (AUPCTRE), Benjamin Anthony.

While from the government side in attendance were, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Labour and Aviation, the chairman of the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), representatives of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations (TUSIR), Budget Office of the Federation and the Head of Civil Service.

Reporting by Nosa Aituamen; editing by Tina Oyinsan