Arik Air operations have been grounded with effect from Tuesday, by unions in the aviation sector over the airline’s failure to pay seven months’ salary arrears and other anti-labour practices.
The aviation unions said the strike would continue indefinitely until their demands were met by the management of Arik Air.
The strike notice was served and signed by Olayinka Abioye, General Secretary, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Frances Akinjole, General Secretary, Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), and Aba Ocheme, the General Secretary of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).
The unions demands are;
- That the management of Arik Air allows total unionisation of its employees, in compliance with extant labour laws and with respect to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- The management of Arik Air recalls all sacked employees who have been victimized for their roles in the effort to bring about unionisation in Arik Air.
- Payment of salary arrears for seven months, with a commitment to pay salaries as at when due, henceforth.
- The immediate review of all employee remunerations which had remained the same since the inception of Arik Air, over ten years ago.
- The immediate commencement of negotiations of Conditions of Service to be concluded within four weeks and remittance of Pension, Tax, and statutory deductions to the appropriate authorities.
- That the management of Arik Air complies with the Nigerian Expatriate Quota law.
Furthermore, all aviation workers threatened to in complete solidarity with their enslaved comrades in Arik Air, withdraw all services being rendered by third parties at the full realization of the strike.
The aviation workers stressed that they will be supported by Nigerian workers from all other sectors throughout Nigeria, to underscore the seriousness of the matter at hand.
During the strike, the union said most Arik Air operations such as all ground handling services, security clearance for Arik Air ticket holders, marshaling, aviation fuel supply, air traffic control, safety inspection, etc, will be completely withdrawn.
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They, therefore, enjoined all Arik Air employees, aviation workers, and other stakeholders to ensure full compliance with the directive.