Representatives of aviation workers have come out to give an update on the current situation of their warning strike that has crippled the sector since yesterday.
Goldennewsng reports that Aviation unions nationwide commenced a two-day warning strike on Monday to press home their demand over the non-release of the reviewed Condition of Service, and planned demolition of Dominion and EAN hangars, amongst sundry issues.
The strike which has entered its second day has crippled activities at various airports nationwide leaving passengers stranded. Reacting to the state of the strike
The General Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), which is one of the unions striking, Ocheme Aba said their meeting with the government on Sunday didn’t yield any headway.
Aba, while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Tuesday noted that another meeting is being held today between the agencies and the salary commission, but they don’t know the details of the gathering because they were not invited.
While responding to the claim by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika that the aviation sector is an essential service and should not embark on strike, Aba said it’s a fallacy because it does not render essential services.
The minister had in January said the new Act of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), industrial actions are illegal as aviation has been classified as an essential service.
According to him, “The meeting of Sunday was deadlocked because all the government present because nobody could give a guarantee of when the Conditions of Service for the agencies will be released. So, we were also unable to give any assurances of not going on strike.
However, we understand that the Salaries and Wages Commission has also convened another meeting with the agencies today. We are not invited to the meeting so we don’t know what discussions are ongoing and how they will pan out relevant to the situation at hand.
“Secondly, with regards to aviation being an essential service provider, this is a fallacy, it’s not correct at all.
“The International Labour Organisation through its official instrument of action has already defined what essential service is and has also clearly defined that aviation is not an essential services provider except the services provided through air control.”
Aba who insisted that the sector is not an essential service maintained that “Aviation does not provide such service except through air traffic control.
For example, if an air traffic controller says an aeroplane should not land, you might be putting at risk the people who are in the aircraft. But when you say aircraft should not take off, you are not putting anybody’s life at risk and the services that airlines provide are not different from the services that Ekenedilichukwu or any transport company provides.”
Aba also said the National Industrial Court has ruled that aviation and airlines do not render essential services and submitted that “Nigerian doctors have been constantly going on strike without any talk about essential services. So, this talk about essential services is neither here nor there.”
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