.. Warns FG to pay ex Nigeria Airways workers entitlements or there would be no guarantee for Nigerian Air
.. Frowns at SAHCOL management for refusal to enlist in Stock Market
The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN has issued two weeks ultimatum to the management of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, BASL to recall the 26 sacked staff whose appointments were inglorious terminated for joining the union or face disruption of its operations at Murtala Muhammed Airport 2, MMA2 in Lagos.
ATSSSAN in a communique issued at the end of its recent NEC meeting in Abuja also called on the management of Bi- Courtney to allow unfettered unionization of willing staff of the company within 2 weeks from the date of the publication of the communiqué or ATSSSAN shall embark on a series of disruption of its operations at MMA2 until the management complies with its demands.
The Union also condemned in the strongest terms the uncivil manner by which the management of Bi-Courtney ingloriously terminated the appointments of the 26 of its staff who voluntarily joined ATSSSAN.
The ATSSSAN NEC commended the intervention of the State Security Services (Airport Command), the Airport Police Command, the Military Commandant (MMIA Airport) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for the roles they played in seeking amicable resolution of the issue.
The NEC of the Union also condemned the deliberate frustration of the efforts of above government agencies by the management of Bi-Courtney.
Against this background, the Union’s NEC has advised all domestic operators utilizing facilities at MMA2 Lagos to make alternative arrangements to avert unscheduled disruption of operations at the terminal.
ATSSSAN also frowned at the refusal of the management and owners of Sky Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) to enlist at the Nigerian Stock Market, thereby denying workers of the company their agreed statutory 10 percent equity share holding in the company.
The Union has appealed to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to compel the management of SAHCOL to go to the Stock Exchange Market without further delay.
On the case of ex-Nigeria Airways Workers Severance Entitlements Settlement; it lamented the failure of the federal government to settle the outstanding entitlements of ex-workers of Nigeria Airways several years after the Airline was liquidated.
The NEC appreciated the selfless efforts of President Mohammadu Buhari who finally gave approval for the payment of Forty-Five Billion naira towards the settlement of the entitlements last year which is yet to be paid till date.
The NEC resolved that the issue of payment of the Severance Benefits of ex-Nigeria Airways workers must be resolved immediately in order to forestall brewing labour issues that could affect, in the negative, the prospects of the recently unveiled “Nigeria Air” by the federal government of Nigeria.
ATSSSAN NEC warned that if Government does not pay Nigeria Airways workers their hard earned entitlements, it will not guarantee any place for the new airline in the industry.
The NEC commiserated with the families of the over 960 Nigeria Airways workers who died in very avoidable health conditions while waiting for their entitlement and wished the souls of the departed workers a peaceful rest and the family they left behind the gratitude to carry on the struggle.
On the issue of unionisation of workers in the Aviation Industry in Nigeria, ATSSSAN NEC resolved that it will no longer tolerate a situation where airlines and other licensed air transport and allied aviation services providers doing business in the industry deny workers their constitutional rights to freely join unions of their choices in the Aviation Industry.
The NEC reminded airlines and other aviation businesses of their obligation in law to comply with the provisions of the extant Labour laws, failing which the NEC mandated the Leadership of ATSSSAN to use all resources within its means to defend the constitutional rights of all aviation workers.
The NEC charged the Minister of Labour and Employment and the Minister of State (Aviation) to intervene in this matter by calling the CEOs of all airlines and allied aviation services providers to comply with the laws of the land, by allowing unions free access to organise willing aviation workers.
The NEC resolved that after six months from the issuance of this communiqué, ATSSSAN will engage any management that does not allow free and unfettered access to unionisation of its workers.
On the issue of Airports Concession: The NEC expressed strong reservations to the decision of the federal government to concession the four (4) major International Airports (MMIA Lagos, Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja, Port Harcourt Airport and Aminu Kano Airport, Kano), operated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on the basis that: The 4 Airports are the main sources of FAAN Revenue. NEC fears that if the government succeeds with the concession of the airports, the entire operations of FAAN will collapse, as all other airports operated by FAAN are maintained or supplemented with revenue generated from the four referenced airports.
That FAAN has huge pension liabilities and will not be able to settle its pension obligations to retirees, that safety at our airports will be compromised, that salaries of the over 6,900 staff scattered around the 22 airports presently managed by FAAN would be compromised, that concession of Airports will lead to high airports charges in the affected airports which will affect airlines, and by direct implication, results in high air ticket prices.
The NEC advised the federal government to look at other successful models of managing airports as been done in South Africa, Egypt, Namibia, Ghana and other civil Aviation jurisdictions around the world.
On Aero Contractors Airline, the union also frowned at the failure and deliberate frustration by the management of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) of the almost two years old redundancy agreement signed between ATSSSAN and other unions on one hand, and the management of Aero Contractors on the other hand.
While th union empathized with Aero Contractors management, it posited that the refusal of the AMCON management in Aero to avail approval and the resources for the settlement of arrears of salaries and terminal benefits of staff members declared redundant on the directive of AMCON is not only inhuman but a breach of the terms of the redundancy agreement.
The NEC called on the Minister of Labour & Employment and his Aviation counterpart to call the AMCON management and the Receiver Manager of Aero to order to avoid any disruptions of operations at Aero Contractors Airlines.
On the issue of Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, the NEC urged the federal government to redouble efforts towards getting the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Act amended.
An appeal was also made to the federal government of Nigeria to allow for a retirement age of 65 years for all staff of the College to be in tandem with other tertiary institutions in the country among other issues.