ASSOCIATION of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) has faulted plans by the Air Transport Senior Staff services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) on its plans for a showdown with management of Aero Contractors over the latter’s redundancy declaration of 60% of its workforce.
The union stated that the company was well within its rights and has acted in accordance with labour laws without violating any laws especially as the bigger picture is to ensure the airline’s survival in the long run.
”Redundancy” according to Nigeria Labour Laws means an involuntary and permanent loss of employment caused by an excess of manpower.
Secretary General of ANAP, Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu in a chat with Nigerianflightdeck stated that there was no need for any bravado as the company has done what it needs to as it concerns the Nigeria Labour Laws.
Quoting Nigeria labour Laws, Saidu said: “In the event of redundancy: the employer shall inform the trade union or worker’s representative concerned of the reasons for and extent of the anticipated redundancy; the principle of ”last in, first out” shall be adopted in the discharge of the particular category of workers affected, subject to all factors of relative merit, including skill, ability and reliability; and the employer shall use his best endeavours to negotiate redundancy payments to any discharged workers who are not protected by regulations made under subsection (2) of this section.”
He explained further,” I think before they took that decision they must have viewed a lot of things and wanted to act in line with the Labour law. See, the law states that if you are an employer and it is by law that you the employer should provide jobs for the worker to do and the minute there is no job for that worker and you cannot keep paying them without that job you have the right, under the law, to inform him that he is redundant because there is no job to do and that is what they are doing in Aero Contractors.”
“I think the management is following the law because the labour law is there on redundancy and there is no union worth its salt over the years that will not include redundancy in its terms and conditions of services and collective bargaining agreement. So, if any employer informs its staff of redundancy, the only thing that will bring friction is if that employer cannot pay in line with the service or collective agreement of those you declare redundant that is all.”
“The law says you cannot force unwilling employers to accept to absorb any unwilling staff. The contraction is there. Ability to pay is not there any longer because the employer is saying he cannot pay any longer so you better take y your entitlement, if the future improves we will employ you. It is the best thing they have done and I think it is long overdue.”
On statements credited to ATSSSAN National Executives that it was not informed and is unaware of any redundancy declaration, Saidu said,” We Have different types of unionists in this country now, particularly in aviation. We have opportunists and those who are trained unionists and as far as we are concerned, the primary point of call to any employer over this situation is the branch union executives or leaders who are directly their staff.”
“ The national body is an outsider, before then the national should have negotiated and included clauses in case of a situation ;like redundancy because the law says so, so when redundancy comes there will be no hullaballoo. So the management of Aero, I am not defending them but I am analyzing what it should be, might have called or written to the branch executive, it is now left for the branch to inform their national body to come assist them.”
Aero yesterday issued a statement that it was declaring 60% of its workforce redundant as Aero Contractors currently has aircraft-to-employee ratio of 1:500, which analysts believe is perhaps the worse in the history of global airline industry.
However, ATSSSAN in a swift reaction said it is not aware of such letters and has advised staff of Aero not to collect such letters stating that before the workers are sacked there must be money to pay them.
A source had earlier told Nigerianflightdeck management have been in discussion with the unions and believes the unions were not unaware.