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Aviation workers threaten strike, flights disruption

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Aviation workers in the security and logistics segment of the sector have bowed to down tools on Wednesday over poor remunerations, among other welfare issues.

The workers under the aegis of the National Union of Air Transport Employees made the declaration in a letter addressed to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN) and other employers in the sector.

Employees in the security and logistics segment are responsible for protection of parked aircraft on the airport tarmac, processing of passengers including checking of visas and other travel documents.

If the unions begin the planned strike, it means international flights may be grounded.

As of press time on Tuesday, representatives of NUATE and employers were still locked up in meetings in a last-minute effort to avert the strike.

The letter, signed by the General Secretary, NUATE, Ocheme Aba, highlights alleged extreme impoverishment of workers, inadequate compensation and unfavourable employment contracts.

“The union asserts that despite attempts to negotiate with management across various aviation logistics companies, no meaningful progress has been made to secure fair compensation for workers.

“The managements of all the companies in the business have all failed to secure decent contracts that can avail fair remuneration for their workers,” the circular stated.

“The upcoming service withdrawal, scheduled to commence on August 16, 2023, is intended to continue indefinitely until the demands for fair remuneration are met. The National Secretariat of NUATE has been designated as the sole authority to issue further directives on this matter,” it added

The circular also calls upon the state councils and branches of NUATE in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, and Enugu to ensure full compliance with the service withdrawal notice.

The circular further read in part: “As you are all aware, the union has done everything possible to resolve the lingering crisis of extreme impoverishment of employees of Aviation Security and logistics sub-sector of the aviation industry in Nigeria, but to no avail.

“The managements of all the companies in the business have all failed to secure decent contracts that can avail fair remuneration for their workers. With current salary levels as low as N30,000 a month for graduates, there is no gain saying that AvSec employment in Nigeria is nothing other than a slave labour camp; to call a spade a spade.”

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