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Minimum wage: Flight disruptions imminent as aviation workers plan two-day strike

airplane taking off from a runway airplane taking off from a runway

Travellers may experience flight disruptions as aviation union workers have threatened to suspend their services across airports in the country from April 17 to April 18, 2023.

In a memo signed by the leadership of five unions, the workers said an indefinite strike will ensue, if the two-day warning strike fails.

The unions include the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), and the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP).

Others are the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees.

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According to the memo, the warning strike would serve as a protest to the refusal of the federal government to release the review of their condition of service (CoS) as negotiated between the workers and four aviation agencies.

The unions also raised concerns about the non-implementation of the national minimum wage consequential adjustments and arrears for workers of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency since 2019.

They also rejected the planned demolition of aviation agency buildings in Lagos to pave the way for an airport city project initiated by Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation.

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According to the groups, a 14-day ultimatum given to the minister on the matter had since expired and nothing tangible has been yielded from their efforts.

“Recall our unions as named above issued a 14-day ultimatum to the honourable minister of aviation and specific aviation parastatals since February 7, 2023, over the following demands: non-implementation of minimum wage consequential adjustments and arrears for the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) since 2019,” the memo reads.

“…refusal of the Salaries, Income & Wages Commission, (NSIWC) and office of the head of service of the federation, (OHCSF), to release the reviewed condition of service, (CoS), of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, (NCAT) and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NiMet).

“As negotiated between our unions and the agencies, and as duly conveyed by the federal ministry of aviation since upwards of nine years.”

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The unions, however, asked that all members comply with the directive while all state councils, branches, and executives have been urged to enforce the directive without compromise.

Last year, the labour unions had threatened a strike over the same issues raised but suspended the action after signing a memorandum of settlement (MoS) with the federal government.

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