National News

Aviation Workers Suspend Nationwide Strike Ultimatum, Sign Agreement With FG

The planned nationwide industrial action of all the associations/unions in the aviation industry, billed to commence on Tuesday, has been suspended.

This was sequel to a Memorandum of Settlement (MOS) reached between the aviation workers and the Federal Ministry of Aviation in the early hours of Tuesday.

Both parties signed the agreement at the end of a conciliation meeting at the instance of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment (FML&E).

The meeting, which took place in the conference room of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, discussed the two demands of the unions, which are: the non-implementation of the Minimum Wage consequential adjustment in the Aviation parastatals since 2019 and the non-approval/release of the reviewed conditions of service in the parastatals.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Ngige said after exhaustive deliberations on the issues which the parties agreed as germane, they reached the following resolutions:

“The National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), was requested to issue a service wide circular informing all organisations in the public and private sectors that they are bound to implement the National Minimum Wage of 2019/consequential adjustments.

“The Ministry of Aviation is to circulate the circular on the consequential minimum wage adjustment to all the agencies under the supervision of the ministry, requesting them to implement the National Minimum Wage consequential adjustment without any further delay and also clarify that this payment became effective from April 18, 2019, when the Minimum Wage was signed into law.”

He said the meeting concluded that all the agencies that had not paid the minimum wage allowances should write to the NSIWC through the Ministry of Aviation for consideration/evaluation.

According to him, the NSIWC promised to process all as soon as possible and consequently, the parties agreed that the consequential adjustment of the New Minimum Wage of 2019 based on the approved government templates should be implemented on or before the end of the first quarter of the year 2022 (March 31, 2022).

Regarding the non-approval/release of the reviewed conditions of service (CoS) of the agencies under the Aviation Ministry, Ngige said they noted that the issue was a protracted one, having been ongoing for about nine years.

He said the meeting charged the management to take more proactive steps to conclude the review of the conditions of service to boost the morale of the workers and retain the best technical staff in the industry.

He promised to urgently look into the additional issue introduced by the associations/unions, bothering on the right of workers to freely associate with a Trade Union within the Aviation Industry as stipulated in the Trade Unions Act. Cap 714 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 by the Airline operators.

He said they agreed that by the end of the first quarter of 2022 (March 31, 2022), the Aviation Ministry should ensure the approval, release and implementation of the renewed CoS for all the workers in the agencies under the Aviation Ministry.

“In view of the above, the 7-day ultimatum issued for a planned industrial action, effective 8/2/2022 is hereby suspended.”

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Shakirat Alabi

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