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Strike Looms in Aviation Sector

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CEM REPORT, AVIATION | A strike is looming as three unions in the aviation sector have issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) over wages.

The union issued the strike threat on the ground of the agency’s refusal to implement the minimum wage.

The unions include the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE).

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This is coming barely a week after the workers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc downed their tools over wages.

The strike notice was issued in a letter jointly signed by Ocheme Aba; General Secretary, NUATE, Sikiru Waheed; General Secretary AUPCTRE and Abdul Rasaq Saidu, General Secretary of ANAP addressed to the Director-General of NiMET, dated January 26, 2023, Nairametrics reports.

The unions also copied Ministers of Aviation, Labour and Employment, the Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and chairmen and secretaries of their unions in NiMET.

The union described the action of the NIMET’s management act of wickedness, adding that no excuse can be tenable being that the other five aviation agencies have implemented the minimum wage since February 2022.

The unions in the letter stated that the management had been lukewarm with the welfare of its workers over the years.

Furthermore, they said that this was a benefit denied since the minimum wage Act came into existence in April 2019.

“As such, it is too much to expect the hapless staff of NiMET to continue to bear the brunt of this act of wickedness. And no excuse can be tenable at this point; nothing can justify this kind of mistreatment.

“As trade unions, it will be irresponsible on our part to sit idly while our members in NiMET wallow in their misery, occasioned by the continued denial of their right to enjoy the benefit of a valid law – the Minimum Wage Act.

“Given the foregoing, we wish to notify the management of NiMET that our unions, as above named, will be unable to guarantee continued industry harmony at NiMET if after 14 days hence the minimum wage consequential adjustment for NiMET is not implemented.”

The 14-day ultimatum is expected to elapse Thursday next week.

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