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Aviation strike: No going back till demands are met

Currently at the Lagos airports, the unions have taken over the aviation agencies gates.

As at 4am on Monday, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN and the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, NAMA exit and entry gate have been blocked.

Though flight operations are ongoing uninterrupted but after a meeting with the union members at the freedom square at 8am on Monday, the unions leaders say, flight operations may no longer be guaranteed.

Yesterday, a meeting was called by the Director-General Civil Aviation, Captain Musa Nuhu via zoom were all heads of Aviation agencies, the Permanent Secretary the Director of Trade Ministry Of Labour, the Director HR FMA, other Directors , DHR NCAA, 3 union Presidents, union National Secretary and the 4 local unions Chairmen where attendance.

However, the unions have refused to budge insisting their demands are met.

The unions had earlier in a notice to their members across airports in the country and aviation agencies issued a two-day warning strike to press home their demands for workers entitlements.

Their demands include approval and implementation of the agreement Condition of Service, CoS, as agreed between them and the agencies by the Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission and the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

Others are non-implementation of minimum wage consequential adjustments and arrears for the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NiMet since 2019 and the planned demolition exercise of all the agency buildings in Lagos by the Minister of Aviation for an airport city project.

Secretary General, National Union of Transport Employees, NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba said, the unions want implementation of their demands.

We express our regret that this unfortunate thing will affect some innocent passengers. Unfortunately, we don’t have any option at this moment but for sure it will affect travel and that is why we gave our notice early enough so that people could make alternative arrangement”, he stated.

Secretary General, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, ANAP, Comrade Abdulrazak Saidu explained that, if the two-day warning strike failed to achieve its purpose, they would embark on an indefinite strike.

”There is no going back, we have written to the foreign airlines, written to the government and we are tired, the issue of 7/8 years has not been resolved and so there is no going back on our warning strike. Comrade Saidu noted.

The scribes of the unions, National Union of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees are already in Lagos to mobilize for the commencement of the warning strike.

Reporting by Nosa Aituamen; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu