NUATE, ATSSSAN commend N’ Assembly for resolving union crisis

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By Clifford Ejenavi

The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN) have commended the leadership of the Senate and the committees of Aviation and Anti-corruption for their intervention in the rift between the unions and Aero Contractors.

The groups equally lauded the management of Contractors Airlines for the immediate recall of the suspended chairman of ATSSSAN in Aero, stressing that the action goes to show that the National Assembly continues to be hope of the poor, common and ordinary men.

In a letter dated February 2, 2016 and signed by NUATE Acting Secretary General, Olayinka Abioye and General Secretary of ATSSSAN, Omotaje Olawale, noted however that that the workers had received a notice from the National Industrial Court taking the leadership of the union on same matter that the Joint Committees of Aviation and Anti-Corruption had directed on.

The duo of Abioye and Olawale further stated that they look forward to discussing the issues raised at the committee sitting within the week.

The airline and the unions had been embroiled in crisis that has seriously affected the fortunes of the carrier.

The carrier’s staff and their unions last month jointly accused the Chairperson of the Board of the airline and other members brought in by Asset Management Company of Nigeria(AMCON ) of allegedly mismanaging the airline and refusing to review the over eight years old organogram that has outlived its usefulness.

The workers led by the President of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Benjamin Okewu and Abioye in relation to their grievances staged a peaceful protest about the manner the airline is being managed, thereby declaring the board members and management persona non grata.

The over 800 workers marched in and around the premises of the airline at the Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA),Lagos, singing solidarity songs and calling for the immediate implementation of a new structure, better management failing which the board must resign.

Okewu, stated that the work force of the oldest airlines is over 1,000 ,adding that if the workers allowed the mismanagement currently going on in the airline to continue, the over 1,000 workers in the airline would be negatively affected .

He pointed out that if that happened, the multiplier effect would be great because of their dependants, adding that as “it is today, the unions are not ready to cooperate with management of Aero on this matter”.

The ATSSSAN President said that efforts to partner aviation entities in the past to resolve workers’ issues have failed, adding that from records what the companies understand is industrial action.

The new structure of Aero, which has been prepared should be signed and implemented failing which the management should resign, adding that some of the funny things that cannot happen in the public sector are happening at Aero.

Okewu posited that board members brought into the airline were not helping matters ,as they were allegedly busy collecting money and not bothered about the sustenance and survival of the airline.

Airline operators under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have sent a position paper to the Federal Government on the need to review the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) it had with other countries.