The Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited, SAHCOL will soon be disengaging about 250 workers from its payroll soon and the company’s General Manager, Corporate Communication, Mr. Basil Agboarumi has ascribed it to the economic situation in the country.
Olu Owolabi, SAHCOL Managing Director
Agboraumi who gave the explanation said that the ground handling company was not operating in isolation of the economy, but assured that the affected workers would be given all their benefits as required by the law.
He insisted that whatever step the company would take on the issue would be with human face and informed that discussions were still ongoing with the workers unions on the final decision it would take on the matter.
On the allegation from the industry unions that the management only planned to give the affected workers just three months salaries in advance, he declared no decision had been taken yet.
He said, “We don’t operate in isolation of the economy. What is going on has to do with the economy. That’s why we want to take such step and we are doing everything with human face and we have also been talking with our staff.
“On the three months’ salary you talked about, nobody has collected a letter yet. There are discussions ongoing with the workers, but one thing I can assure you is that there is a need for us to downsize at the moment. Every organization is downsizing.
“The representatives of the staff saw reasons with us. It’s either we do it or nobody will be in business. There is a need for us to go this direction. However, we have not come out with a decision yet.”
On the demand of the industry unions that most of the organisation’s contract staff should be disengaged, rather than sack the workers who receive a paltry N40, 000, Agboarumi declared that the organisation engaged contract staff because they were beneficial to the system.
“Some companies even go for expatriates and these contract staff you are talking about are Nigerians. People may have argument on how things should be done, but I can assure you that we are dialoguing with them.”
It would be recalled that the leading industry union; National Union of Air Transport Workers, NUATE, Comrade had last week raised the alarm about the plan of SAHCOL to downsize its workforce by additional 250.
The Ag. General-Secretary, NUATE, Comrade Olayinka Abioye had said that the unions as the representatives of the workers would kick severely against maltreatment of workers in the ground handling company.
Abioye told our correspondent that the management of SHACOL had already notified the two unions; NUATE and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, of its intent to sack some workers, stressing that following the Section 20 of the Trade Union Act, the unions had commenced dialogue with the company.
He however said that the proposal from the management was insignificant when compared to the demand of the unions and described the stands of the management as callous.
He pointed out that several of the workers had spent up to five years in SAHCOL after its privatization and wondered why they would only be remunerated with just three months’ pay.
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“What I must tell you is that this certification process is not as easy as it looks especially when you allow the infrastructure to be unattended for quite a long time and then over a period of time there are changes. If you are not proactive on those changes you find out by the time you want to do this certification, the requirement for the certification process, you find that the airport is either finding it difficult to meet up the requirement or you give them time.