Staff protest: Dana Air faces mass walkout

Staff protest: Dana Air faces mass walkout

2 minutes, 27 seconds Read
By Akinsuroju Olubunmi

Staff protest: Dana Air faces mass walkout.

Staff protest: Dana Air faces mass walkout

Over 500 Dana Air employees have barricaded the company’s headquarters in Oshodi, Lagos State, protesting their dismissal and the airline’s refusal to pay their April salaries. The demonstration follows a recent incident where a Dana aircraft skidded off the runway, leading the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to suspend the airline’s operating license.

The NCAA announced it would conduct an in-house compliance assessment, considering Dana Air’s history with similar incidents. This assessment includes a comprehensive safety audit, reviewing the airline’s procedures, personnel, and aircraft, and an economic audit to assess Dana’s financial stability to ensure it can maintain safe operations.

Just two weeks after the suspension, Dana Air laid off its staff, citing the ongoing audit by aviation regulators as the reason for their dismissal. During Tuesday’s protest, employees vowed to pursue all avenues to address what they called “an injustice.”

Protesters carried placards with messages like, ‘Give us our money,’ ‘An airline owing its staff can’t be safe,’ and ‘Systematic thieving.’ They claimed that, in addition to unjust layoffs, the airline has failed to pay workers’ pensions and April salaries, among other entitlements.

Magdalene Onyeukwu, the airline’s Training Manager, spoke to journalists at the protest. Onyeukwu, who has worked with Dana Air for 15 years, said she received her termination notice via WhatsApp and that all staff access, including official lines, had been deactivated. “I have been with Dana since 2008. I participated in the demo flight that secured Dana’s license. Even when salaries were delayed, we stayed committed until this recent runway incident, which is not unusual. But suddenly, we received WhatsApp messages saying our services were no longer needed. What about our gratuity, pension, and April salary? This is unacceptable after 15 years of service,” she said.

Eze Chidibere, an Aviation Security Supervisor, also addressed the protest, criticizing the company’s refusal to pay the laid-off staff and highlighting the impact on their families. He called on Dana management to promptly settle what is owed, even if the staff would not be rehired. Chidibere also accused Dana of deducting pension contributions but not remitting them to pension accounts. “We are here to demand our rights. After serving Dana Airlines for years, they suddenly terminated our employment without following proper procedures. Dana flew until April before the incident, yet April salaries remain unpaid, and my children are out of school because I can’t pay their fees. Many colleagues couldn’t join the protest due to logistics, but our frustration is widespread. Dana should pay a one-month salary in lieu of notice, as required. They have been deducting our pensions but not remitting them. We urge Dana to pay us immediately to avoid legal action.”

Attempts to reach Dana Air spokesperson Kingsley Ezenwa were unsuccessful, as he did not respond to calls or text messages seeking comment on the protest.

Protest, Pension.

Staff protest: Dana Air faces mass walkout

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