By Isaac Tersoo Agber
Disgruntled members of aviation unions have threatened to shutdown operations of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) over alleged non-approval of condition of service for all staff of the agency.
The unions, under the aegis of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), gave the warning in a letter drafted to the Managing Director of NAMA, Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam, dated 10th. February, 2016.
The unions jointly expressed utmost dismay and dissatisfaction at what they described as “wicked insensitivity” of the NAMA management to the welfare of staff. They said the agency’s belligerent refusal to approve and implement new Conditions of Service for all staff in spite of concerted efforts in that regard, is unacceptable and capable of causing a breakdown in the agency’s operations.
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The letter read: “The Unions noted that your Management has taken for granted the maturity and social responsibility that our members have been displaying to ensure that the Agency continues to discharge its duties and responsibilities, meeting up with global aviation standards, as the Management has been dithering on the full execution of the reviewed Conditions of Service which lapsed since 2012.
“A review which ought to take place every two years yet in 2016, Management feels comfortable that several workers shall be left behind at the same sordid social and economic conditions of 2012, when every sane person knows the global economic downturn, high exchange rate and inflation has eaten deep into the take home pay of workers.”
The unions resolved that within twenty one days (21) after receipt of the letter, the management of NAMA should commence full implementation of all the agreed terms in the new Conditions of Service.
They also urged the management to immediately invite the unions to agree on modalities to pay for the salary arrears and allowances of staff, which should have accrued to them since the extant Conditions of Service lapsed in 2012.
The unions threatened that if the management fails to accede to their demands, “the unions and its members shall be at liberty to deploy any legitimate arsenal in their custody to compel the Management to perform its obligations to workers in tandem with extant laws.
“We expect your prompt and positive response to avoid breakdown of industrial harmony in the Agency and industrial hara-kiri in the aviation industry,” the letter read.
The letter was endorsed by Comrades Olayinka Olu Abioye of NUATE, Omotaje Olawale of ATSSSAN and Modiu Akanbi Bello of AUPCTRE as General Secretaries respectively. It was also sent to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and other relevant ministries and labour partners.