- Airline source says Arik has recalled 50% of staff, pays 20% salaries to those home
THE situation at Arik Air is fast deteriorating as staff today convened around the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) headquarters in Lagos airing their view over what they described as ill treatment by the management of the airline and vow not to back down from the current struggle.
This is just as aviation unions National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) are currently deadlocked with the management of the airline, as at the time of filing this report.
The unions on behalf of staff are currently in a meeting with the NCAA to try and resolve the issue as the regulators had brokered a meeting involving aviation unions, Arik Management, Ministry of Aviation and Ministry of Labour over conditions of Service of the workers.
Staff of the airline clad in Arik branded shirts were seen around the NCAA headquarters in Lagos discussing the meeting held upstairs while around the airline headquarters irate staff were seen with banners reading riot acts to the management.
Banners like ‘ Say No to bad Management #stopkeepingArikairstaffathome #end slaveryat Arikair, 90% of Arik staff at home without pay, (ArikAir/AMCON) Parity matters a lot, Pay our pensions, stop keeping us at home and pay us off, Arik Air Management (AMCON) Pension arears and conditions of service are non-negotiable and many other such banners were paraded by visibly unhappy staff of the airline
Staff of Arik have been at home since the advent of the Corona virus as the airline since April after placing 90% of the workforce on compulsory leave has been alleged to not have paid them any salaries.
Howeveer, a source close to the airline debunked the statement that 90% of Arik staff are home as she explained that the airline has been recalling staff as the need arises and as the airline increases operations, according to her no fever than 50% of those put on leave have been recalled.
She said,” That 90% they keep talking about is not true, ask the unions if Arika has recalled staff. Arike has been recalling every month as the need arises that 90% has been reduced to 40% at most 50% . In fact, l;ast week we called some staff back you can ask the unions, if sincere they’d tell you the truth.
“Even our staff remaining at home, for the past three months Arik has been paying them at home 20% of their salaries for staying at home every month for the past three months and they will still be recalled when things pick up but it is not right to say we have not called back the entire 90% staff we sent home in April, that is just not true,” she said
The unions on September 14, 2020 led by the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) grounded the airline causing untold hardship to passengers and revenue loss to the airline after it failed to do so in August 17th, 2020 and promised to revisit the issues if management continues foot dragging.
Recall that Arik Air on April 24, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic lock down announced that it will implement an 80% pay cut for all members of staff across the entire organization for the month of April 2020 and from May 1st 2020, 90% staff will proceed on leave without pay until further notice.
The airline made this known in a message from its managing Director, Captain Roy Ilegbodu who explained that the review is as a result of sharp decline of 98% of the airline’s revenue stream, decline in naira value as well as current oil prices but stated the position will be reviewed on a monthly basis and communications on further developments will be shared as the situation evolves.
He said then that: “After careful deliberation and analyses, management has decided to implement an 80% pay cut for all members of staff across the entire organization for the month of April 2020. Furthermore, commencing from May 1st 2020, no less than 90% of our staff will proceed on leave without pay until further notice. This position will be reviewed on a monthly basis and communications on further developments will be shared by our HR department as the situation evolves.”
Meanwhile, a staff who spoke to Nigerianflightdeck under the conditions of anonymity told our portal that no one has been recalled from their department and the airline is going on as if those it abandoned without pay since April were not their workers.
However, further investigation shows that the statement was not true as some staff have been recalled while others are being paid some 20% of their salaries to sustain them until recall.