- supports National carrier, airport concession
THE new executives of the National Aircraft Association of Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has risen to condemn in total the situation in troubled airline, Aero Contractors and has vowed to commence a nationwide strike to press home their displeasure at the inhuman treatment in the airline.
The aircraft association made this known in a press briefing at the weekend where it alleged that the Aero management under the guiding hand of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria(AMCON) threw out the workers without paying them their redundancy benefits which has been cut down due to the airline’s abysmal financial health.
Comrade Abednego Galadima, the new NAAPE president who expressed displeasure at this most recent action stated that the association will call on a nationwide strike.
He said,” The declaration of redundancy by the management was a bitter pill to swallow…it was indeed, with much pain that the unions eventually negotiated a redundancy package on behalf of the workers. This was after we persuaded ourselves to accept this burden as a further sacrifice needed to avoid the complete crash of the airline.”
“Worse still, the airline’s poor financial health meant that redundant employees could only be offered pittance and so we were left with no choice but to accept the worst possible redundancy package for our members to demonstrate our desire to see the airline though the prevailing travails.”
“Now, however, the Receiver Manager of Aero Contractors, under the prompting of AMCON, has crossed the line by his unguided action of unilaterally throwing the workers affected by the redundancy exercise out without paying their benefits, even as meagre as these benefits are. This is a most wicked impunity and will not be allowed to stand,” Galadima said.
He declared: “Accordingly, and in defense to the rights of workers of Aero Contractors, NAAPE has decided to declare a nationwide strike in demonstration of our abhorrence of this inhuman treatment meted to the unfortunate Aero workers.”
“This strike will commence at a soon to be announced date after we finalize consultations with other aviation unions, our friends in NUPENG, NUEE and other friendly unions.”
To forestall this, Galadima called on the Federal Government through all its apparatus to prevail on AMCON to do the needful with regards to the rights of the Aero workers so as to avert an imminent crisis.
NAAPE also expressed its support for the establishment of a privately driven national carrier and for the concession of four international airports but stated that government must settle all labour issues as far as workers of the airports are concerned.
Galadima, in his statement said,” NAAPE’s support for a national carrier is premised on the fact that only by such means can a carrier of mega status be birthed in Nigeria to offer the nation competitive edge against the onslaught of other global carriers whose present competitive advantages rob the country of the economic benefits of its natural aviation related endowments.”
“NAAPE is also in staunch support of Federal Government’s effort to concession four international airports. NAAPE believes that government is too constrained of funds, considering the numerous social demands, to be able to fund airport development to the desired level of international competitiveness, whereas such level is urgently needed to drive Nigeria’s desire to become the West African aviation hub.”
He further stated that the issue of concession is a fait accompli by virtue of the agreements entered into as part of china’s involvement in the ongoing airport building.