As Arik Air staffers began an industrial action over unpaid salaries on Tuesday, Aero Contractors, which has been off duty for sometimes now, is expected to resume operations from its Lagos base Wednesday.
The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, National Union of Air Transport Employees and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria have directed workers of Arik Air to commence an indefinite strike action on Tuesday over non-payment of seven months’ salaries.
The strike, according to a statement jointly signed by Abba Ocheme, Olayinka Abioye and Francis Akinjole, on behalf of the three unions, will continue until the management of Arik Air pays the arrears of seven months’ salaries and give a commitment to pay salaries as and when due.
The unions also called for total unionisation of Arik’s employees in compliance with extant labour laws and with respect to the constitution of the country.
They also asked the management of Arik Air to recall all sacked employees, who had been allegedly victimised for their roles in the effort to bring about unionisation in the company.
Some other issues that the unions want settled before calling off the strike include the immediate review of all employee remuneration, which they stated had remained the same since the inception of Arik Air over 10 years ago, and immediate commencement of negotiations on the conditions of service to be concluded within four weeks.
Others are remittance of pension, tax and statutory deductions to the appropriate authorities and compliance by the management of the carrier with the expatriate quota law.
“Towards the full realisation of the strike action, all aviation workers, in complete solidarity with their enslaved comrades in Arik Air, shall withdraw all services being rendered by third parties,” the unions said in the statement.
They stated that the aviation workers would be supported by employees from all other sectors throughout the country to underscore the seriousness of the matter at hand.
The union added, “In the above respect, all ground handling services, security clearance for Arik Air ticket holders, marshalling, aviation fuel supply, air traffic control, safety inspection, etc. will be completely withdrawn.”
Arik Air’s spokesperson, Mr. Ola Adebanji, could not be reached for comments. He did not answer calls put through to his mobile phone and failed to respond to a text message sent to him on the subject.