The Nigerian aviation unions commence a nationwide strike on April 17, 2023.

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                                                                         To demolish the offices of the Lagos aviation parastatal. Image:

There may be disruptions to flight operations in Nigeria as aviation unions have announced a strike from April 17th to 18th, 2023. 

The strike is in protest of the federal government’s plan to demolish the offices of aviation parastatals in Lagos and the delay in reviewing workers’ Conditions of Service (CoS), which were negotiated between the unions and four aviation agencies seven years ago.

Other reasons cited for the planned industrial action include the non-implementation of minimum wage consequential adjustments and arrears for the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) since 2019.

Additionally, the planned demolition of all agency buildings in Lagos by the Minister of Aviation for an airport city project, known as aerotropolis, is also a point of contention for the unions.

In a notice of a two-day warning strike to workers of all aviation agencies, signed by the representatives of five unions including the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), National Association of Aircraft Pilots (NAAP), and Engineers and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees, it was stated that if the warning strike fails, an indefinite strike will follow.

The unions had previously issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Minister of Aviation on February 7, 2023, regarding the same demands. According to the notice, the ultimatum has since expired, and no concrete action has been taken in response to their efforts.

The demands include the non-implementation of minimum wage consequential adjustments and arrears for the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) since 2019, as well as the refusal of the Salaries, Income & Wages Commission (NSIWC) and the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (OHCSF) to release the reviewed Conditions of Service (CoS) of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), and Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) as negotiated between the unions and the agencies, and as duly conveyed by the Federal Ministry of Aviation for over nine years.

“The ultimatum has expired, and despite our efforts and that of the Ministry of Aviation, nothing tangible has been achieved. Furthermore, it has become clear that the Minister of Aviation is determined to proceed with the demolition of the headquarters of FAAN, NAMA, and NCAA in Lagos, despite our appeals for caution.

In light of the above, unless our demands are met, including the implementation of consequential adjustments and payment of arrears for NiMeT, immediate release of the Conditions of Service (CoS) for NAMA, NCAA, NCAT, and NiMeT, and halting of the Minister’s demolition exercise, all aviation workers are hereby directed to withdraw all services in the sector on April 17th and 18th, 2023 as a warning strike.

If the warning strike fails to achieve the desired results, an indefinite strike shall follow. We urge all members to comply with this directive, and all state councils, branches, and executives to enforce it without compromise,” the statement read.

The unions have instructed all their members to adhere to the directive, and all state councils, branches, and executives have been urged to enforce the directive without any compromise.

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