The Ministry of Aviation has expressed its displeasure at the ongoing warning strike by the Aviation Unions in spite of efforts at meeting the demands of the workers.
The strike is unnecessary as it will increase the hardship on our citizens, affect flight schedules, lead to economic losses, and negatively impact our rating globally.
On the grievances prompting the strike by the Unions, these are issues that should not lead to strike.
It should be noted that the planned demolition of certain buildings obstructing the runway is in public interest and an administrative issue that can be sorted in-house. The Unions should have met with management of Agencies for alternative accommodation to all affected offices before going ahead with the strike.
On the Concession of airports, the Unions are aware of global practices and for the Aviation industry in Nigeria to be the hub in Africa, the concession is the way to go to improve infrastructure and make our airports economically viable as this is without loss of jobs.
On Conditions of Service in some of the Agencies, it is work in progress. The National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission is already carrying out assessments and will soon conclude.
The Unions should also note, if they are not already aware, that consequential adjustment of the minimum wage has been finalized and about to be paid anytime soon. We have always conveyed this information in the several conversations and meetings held with the Unions.
The Management of the Ministry of Aviation is open to continuous engagement with the Unions to improve their welfare.
However, this can only be done in an atmosphere of peace and mutual respect.
Let me reiterate that while we are appealing to the Unions to sheath the sword, the Management will view seriously any behaviour by any Union that is likely to lead to a breakdown of law and order at our airports.
The Ministry wishes to appeal to the Unions to call off the strike and join hands with Management to make the Aviation industry a hub in Africa.
Aviation Unions embark on two-day warning strike
Unions in the aviation industry have withdrawn their services over the non-release of the reviewed Condition of Service, CoS as negotiated between them and four aviation agencies for over seven years.
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.
The leaders 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, in a press release earlier announced a 14 days ultimatum which has expired. Meanwhile the action by workers have caused major gridlock around Ikeja axis.