HUNDREDS of Arik Air staff have been unionized into the three leading unions, National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, (NAAPE), Air Traffic Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, (ATSSSAN) and National Union of Air Transport Employees, (NUATE) over the weekend.The three industry unions have inaugurated their executive members in Arik Air in a ceremony, which took place at the airline’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, MMA, Lagos saw the airline’s staff joining the three available unions.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of new members including the executives, NAAPE’s Assistant General Secretary, Organizing, Comrade Femi Ajagbe said the inauguration signified new beginning not just in the airline, but in the industry at large as there were plans to do same in other airlines.
He said that the unions would ensure that the welfare of members are not taken for granted and equally promised to support the airline in its developmental plans.
He said, “It is really a welcome development for us to have members in Arik Air. Arik Air is the biggest airline in the industry with the highest number of staff, but in the technical department and support staff.
“Our major aim is to grow the industry, ensure that workers welfare are well taken care of while we will also ensure that the airline continues to grow and remain in business.”
With this inauguration, Arik Air became the first indigenous carrier to have its staff unionized. Before the swearing-in of members, it was a really tug-of-war between the parties involved as the unions had over the years pressed for unionization in the airline and others.
Ajagbe further disclosed that plans have reached an advanced stage to equally inaugurate members in Dana Air, Air Peace, FirstNation, Med-View and a few other airlines and organizations in the industry.