NAAPE warning strike cripples Bristow Helicopters operations

..As NAAPE suspends warning strike

The warning strike embarked upon by the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE on Thursday, March 31st crippled the operations of Bristow Helicopters.

This came just as the Association
also suspended the warning strike against the management of Bristow Helicopters as a result of pay disparity where Nigerian Pilots and Engineers were discriminated against in favour of their foreign Counterparts, as well as the absence of a valid conditions of service.

A statement signed by the general secretary of NAAPE, comrade Ocheme Aba on the suspension of the strike reads, “I am to convey the deep satisfaction of the leadership of NAAPE to all members in Bristow Group who have made a great success of the warning strike against Bristow management today (31/03/2016).
I am to inform you that the Federal Ministry of Labour has intervened on the matter and has made a passionate appeal to the Union to allow the Ministry offer its mediation service.
Out of great respect for the Federal Ministry of Labour, the Union has suspended the two day warning strike with effect from 2400hrs of today (31/03/2016)”.

The statement reads further: “Accordingly, all National Pilots and Engineers in Bristow Group are hereby informed to resume their normal duties from tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, in response to our gesture, the Federal Ministry of Labour has called the parties to a meeting tomorrow at the Ministry for the purpose of resolving the issues.
Please, all members in Bristow Group should remain on standby mode”.

Meanwhile, the media consultant to Bristow Helicopters, Collenius Onuoha has explained that the the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) on Thursday picketed Bristow’s premises and caused disruptions to his clients’ flight operations in Nigeria.

The statement by Onuoha said the action is related to concerns raised by NAAPE regarding certain aspects of the conditions of service of its members currently employed by Bristow Helicopters Nigeria.

“Bristow has been in dialogue with NAAPE over the past few months regarding this matter and a proposal was recently put to NAAPE for their consideration.
The Federal Ministry of Labour has intervened in the matter and had advised the union to stop its action and maintain the status quo until a meeting scheduled for April.
This action is coming at a time when the global oil and gas industry is facing severe challenges and the Nigerian economy is undergoing serious disruptions with a number of clients reducing their activities. Bristow continues to keep its obligations to clients and employees,” Onuoha said.

He stated that Bristow is disappointed that despite their concerted efforts to keep their Nigeria operations running as smoothly and efficiently as possible,

According to him: “This action will temporarily impact flight schedules. We will continue to encourage dialogue and partnership with all stakeholders during this period. We restate our commitment to providing safe and efficient air services to our clients and to the development of the Nigerian aviation industry.”

It will be recalled that the NAAPE had threatened to go on strike from 2400hrs of Wednesday, March 30 to 2400hrs on Friday April 1, 2016 as
the body has noted that all effort to get the management of Bristow to ameliorate the acts of injustice and violation of the Constitution of Nigeria, as well as contravention of Bristow Code of Business Integrity (COBI) has failed to yield any positive result.

According Aba, the management’s proposal on the issue dated 11/02/2016 is nothing but a disingenuous mockery of all of us and undisguised insult on our collective intelligence, as it offers nothing but takes away even more from us. As such the offer has been outrightly and totally rejected.

“NAAPE has since offered a proposal to the management which has received an even more unpalatable response. Any unbiased third party will easily agree that NAAPE has bent double backwards to show maturity and good faith, and has amply demonstrated restraint and forbearance. But management has paid us back with utter disdain and blackmail. While we have been playing for time to allow for workable solutions, management has been digging trenches and fortifying their positions. While we have been offending our members by showing understanding, Management has been degrading our Country’s laws by massing up Expatriate recruitments, in fragrant disregard to subsisting Expatriate quota laws, all in a bid to decimate and weaken the position of Nationals. And as a nail on our coffin, the Management has set out to massively lay off National Pilots and Engineers as a weapon of war against NAAPE” Mr. Aba maintained.

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