The unions are the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE).
In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari (Gcfr), on the 2nd June, 2020 titled: To Avert Crisis in the Aviation Industry; signed by Comrade Ocheme Aba General Secretary NUATE, Comrade Frances Akinjole Deputy General Secretary ATSSSAN; Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu , General Secretary ANAP and Comrade Babatunde A. Omotola Secretary General For AUPCTRE the unions sought a change to the status quo which according to them is telling on the workers.
The letter in part read; “While the adverse socio-economic situation imposed by the COVID-19 is an act of God, there can be little debate that workers have been dealt a larger portion of the burden to bear due to no fault of theirs. This burden has become exceedingly telling on the workers, and the cost has become unbearable. Our Unions can no longer contain the wailings of our members; the aviation workers.
“In the light of the above reality, our unions are constrained to serve notice that should the situation of no salary, or incomplete salary, remain beyond the 15th of June, 2020 the only option left for our Unions will be to ask all aviation workers to remain at home pending when their salaries can be guaranteed.
“This option will be inevitable as we are unable to justify the continuation of the present unfairness whereby the workers have to use their own meager resources to finance their commune to and fro work under the very difficult COVID-19 transportation challenges,” the letter read.
The unions had earlier explained the scenario stating that they were compelled by the critical nature of their circumstances to alert the President to the unfolding dire situation in the aviation industry in Nigeria, a situation, they maintained, requiring urgent attention and mitigation to avert a looming national crisis.
The unions explained that both the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace management Agency (NAMA) have expressed difficulty in paying salaries for the month of May and that the workers are left to endure the brunt of the action.
“As you may be aware, it took commendable effort on the part of the management of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to pay salaries for the month of May. The possibility of another such miracle for the month of June is rather bleak.”
“At the same time, the management of NAMA has informed it’s in house Unions about its inability to continue to pay normal salaries. And as is well within public domain, most aviation companies have sent their workers home without salaries for months now, while some are paying only a fraction of salaries to workers on essential duties compelled to come to work.”