20th May, 2013
Aviation workers under the aegis of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) have called off their strike, a statement said in Abuja on Monday.
The decision of the unions to call off the strike followed meetings they held in Abuja on Monday with government representatives, led by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu.
The unions had urged their members to start the strike on Monday over a dispute with the Management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) on issues bordering on staff welfare.
The directive led the junior workers to stay away from work and as a result, the management staff manned the control towers to ensure flight operations were not disrupted.
The spokesperson for NAMA, Mr Supo Atobatele, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that the management staff took over operations, saying: “flights took off from Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country.’’ But there were reports of flight disruptions, as well.
However, the Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Aviation, Mr Joe Obi, said in a statement that the parties agreed that due notification was not given to the Ministry of Labour and Productivity on the dispute.
It said the meeting resolved that “the issue of determination of the basic salary and other allowances for the staff of NAMA concerned shall be taken up by a committee to be headed by the permanent secretary, Ministry of Aviation.
“Other members of the committee are the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity and the chairman, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC).
“Other members are to be worked out by the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Aviation including the number of Trade Union membership,” it said.
The statement said the committee was expected to deliberate and conclude its works within a reasonable time.
“Based on the above, the proposed strike by the Trade Unions was shelved,’’ it added.
The resolutions were jointly signed by the National President of ATSSSAN, Mr Benjamin Okewu, his NUATE counterpart, Mohammed Safiyanu, and the Director, Human Resources Management, NAMA, Dr. Uwem Akangson.
Other signatories to the resolution were the Director, Federal Ministry of Aviation, Mr Clement Dosunmu, the National President, NATCA, Mr Eyaru Victor, Director Compensation, NSIWC, Ukut S.U, and the Director of Trade Unions, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Mrs C.C. Dike.
The statement said the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, assured Nigerians, the international community and travelling public that the Nigerian airspace remained safe and secure for local and international flights.