Unions in the Nigerian aviation industry have threatened to as from Wednesday ground activities in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) due to its inability to address the “sundry issues” raised before it.
The unions said that all the agency’s offices and stations nationwide would be grounded by its members as every effort put in place to ensure that the Ministry of Transport (Aviation), addressed the issues has failed.
A circular signed by Comrades Ocheme Aba, Frances Akinjole, Abdul Rasaq Saidu, Umoh Ofonime for National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), respectively said that the strike would be indefinite until all their demands were met.
Some of the demands of the unions included the immediate implementation of the new organogram for NCAA as agreed by the ministry, the management of NCAA and the unions.
Others are the immediate review the conditions of service as negotiated with the management by the agency’s leadership and inauguration of the Governing Board of NCAA as directed by the government in 2018.
The unions purported that at the expiration of the ultimatum on Monday, the ministry and the management of NCAA had failed to address any of the demands raised, threatening that the agency would remain grounded until the issues were addressed.
It insisted that there was no going back on the impending grounding of activities in the regulatory agency in particular and the country’s civil aviation industry in general unless if the government immediately implemented the new organogram for NCAA as agreed by the ministry, the management of NCAA and the unions.
The circular read in part: “As you are all aware, our unions issued a seven days ultimatum to Federal Ministry of Transport (Aviation) AND NCAA over sundry issues. The ultimatum expired on Monday 22, May 2019.
“All this time, the ministry of transport (aviation) has completely rejected the ultimatum, while the NCAA has reacted with only halfhearted measures. This means that no single item on the demands list has been ameliorated.
“For the above purpose, all NCAA workers are to assemble at the entrance/gate of their various work places and take directive from branch union officers on location until directed otherwise.”
Speaking over the weekend in Lagos on the issue, the minister of state, aviation, Hadi Sirika appealed to the unions to adopt dialogue, rather than grounding of the industry.
Sirika had said that the agency’s organogram could be looked into, stressing that strike action should be the last resort.
The unions had last week accused Sirika of doctoring the new organogram of NCAA and agreement reached with the agency’s management.
According to them, a tripartite team comprising of the unions, NCAA management and the government sat down to fashion out a new organogram for NCAA as a result of its new status, but Sirika single-handedly changed the organogram.
They insisted that the new organogram would not create room for development of workers, adding that some who were due for promotion since 2017 were yet to be promoted, while the government was also on the verge of merging some of the directorates.
“There was a tripartite committee on the issue of the organogram of NCAA; the unions, NCAA management and the government , but all of a sudden, when the organogram returned to the management, what was presented to the team was entirely different from what was agreed upon,” they said.