Aviation unions suspend indefinite strike

The industrial action against the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the 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), has been called off a day after four unions threatened to shut down the airports.

The unions actually shut down Lagos and Abuja offices of the NCAA on Wednesday morning.

The protest by the four unions prevented NCAA workers and those of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency from gaining access into their offices.

The unions accused the NCAA‘s Director-General, Muktar Usman, of compromising safety standards and high handedness. The refusal of the Federal Government to review the agency’s new organogram also contributed to the shutdown.

The unions have also noted that at the expiration of the ultimatum given to the ministry of Aviation on Monday, the ministry and the management of NCAA failed to address any of the demands raised, threatening that the agency would remain grounded until the issues are addressed.

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The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, intervened on Wenesday, leading to the suspension of the strike on Wednesday night, after a two-hour closed-door meeting in Abuja.

The meeting ended with Sirika assuring the four unions that he would personally look into their demand, promising to review the issue of revised organogram, after agreeing to some concessions.

The minister intends to visit the National Salaries and Wages Commission to get the workers’ revised staff condition of service approved after concerns were raised about workers’ welfare.

Sirika promised to solve the issue of abnormality in the constitution of the NCAA board, as well as setting up a committee to review the NCAA organogram and submit its report in one week.