THE unfortunate series of industrial actions is not abating anytime soon as the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) has announced that it will commence strike in Arik Air August 17th, 2020.
Barring any last minute changes to the status quo, the unions in a notice to all staff of Arik Air signed by NUATE General Secretary, Comrade Ocheme Aba and ATSSSAN Deputy General Secretary, Comrade Frances Akinjole maintain that the action will take place.
Their grouse: The unions are miffed that there has been no payment of staff salaries in the airline since April after placing 90% of the workforce on compulsory leave according to a source who pleaded anonymity.
The letter dated 10th August and obtained by Nigerianflightdeck read: “Subsequent to the failure of Arik Air to address the issues raised in the 15-day ultimatum our unions issued to the airline since July 21, 2020 and realizing that the window of the 15-day came to an end on Wednesday, 5th August 2020, we are now left with no choice than to inform the Management of Arik Air that there is going to be a total withdrawal of services from the airline as from the next seven days.
“All staff of Arik Air are therefore notified that from the 17th of August, 2020 all workers should down tools and assemble at places designated by union officials to be guided appropriately. The notice shall remain in force until otherwise directed by our union, “the notice read.
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.”