Aviation Unions Ground Arik Air Over Non-Payment Of Salaries
Posted: 15/Sep/2020

Two aviation unions, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) completely  grounded operations of Arik Air over disagreement with the management of the airline over non payment of salaries and other conditions of service. 

The unions barricaded the headquarters of the airline with their vehicles while members were chanting solidarity songs as their actions left passengers stranded.

The unions had earlier given an ultimatum to the management to resolve the issues of salary and severance benefits and resume the discussions on the conditions of service or face an industrial action.

Passengers of the airline were stranded and could not travel in the morning as many of them were angry that they were not informed about the development and decided to buy tickets from other airlines to travel.

The Secretary General of NUATE,  Ocheme Aba, said the action became necessary following the refusal of the airline to agree to their demands.

He said their demands include payment of the balance of the staff salaries both for those who worked and at home during the period of the lockdown.

According to him, a circular by the Arik Air Management informed the staff during the lockdown that only 20 per cent of staff were needed at work and promised that the 80 per cent sent on compulsory leave would be paid 20 per cent of their salaries when those on duty would be paid 50 per cent salaries.

Aba said the management only paid one month salary and till date, nothing had been paid to both those who were at work and those at home.

“First of all, these decisions were taken unilaterally and based on labour practice, every decision that would affect  payment of  workers has to be negotiated. There has to be a collective  bargaining agreement, that’s the labour and yet they didn’t even keep to that promise.

“For people who were even coming to work, they were paying them less than 50 per cent of their salaries and the people at home whom they say they were going to pay 20 per cent, they didn’t pay. They paid for only one month and, thereafter, nothing again till date.”