Another imminent strike threatens Nigeria’s aviation sector as unions issue NiMET 14 days ultimatum
Barely a week after the workers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc downed their tools over wages, another disruption to the aviation industry seems imminent as three unions in the sector have threatened to ground operations at the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) over wages.
The unions issued the management of NiMET a 14-day ultimatum to implement the minimum wage consequential adjustment or face the wrath of the workers.
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).
The unions’ agitation: They accused the NIMET’s management of “wickedness” over its failure to implement the minimum wage consequential adjustment despite its implementation in other five aviation agencies since February 2022.
The letter, which was jointly signed by Comrade Ocheme Aba; General Secretary, NUATE, Comrade Sikiru Waheed; General Secretary AUPCTRE and Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu, the General Secretary of ANAP was addressed to the Director-General of NiMET, dated January 26, 2023, and was exclusively obtained by Nairametrics on Tuesday morning.
The ultimatum: The 14-day ultimatum is expected to elapse Thursday next week, having been issued since January 26, 2023.
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 unions insisted that the issue of the non-implementation of the approved minimum wage consequential adjustment for NiMET had reached its crescendo, lamenting that only the staff in the agency had been denied its implementation.
The unions insisted that this was a benefit denied since the minimum wage Act came into existence in April 2019, insisting that the management had been lukewarm with the welfare of its workers over the years. The letter read in part:
- “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.”