Wednesday, June 6, 2012

► NIGERIA: Pilot & Engineer Strike affecting Air Nigeria.

Air NigeriaAir Nigeria (VK) has come clean and admitted that a 5 day old strike by members of the Nigerian Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) is starting to impact its domestic and regional flights, though its international operation to London Gatwick has remained unaffected.

The NAAPE strike is focussed around 4 core issues namely:
  • Delayed payment of salaries to both local and foreign staff
  • Pension deductions not remitted for over seven (7) months
  • Co-operative deductions not yet remitted
  • Tax refund and tax clearance issues

International Airport, Lagos
Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos
Air Nigeria management however, has refused to budge from its own position and in a statement has labelled the strike as "blackmail" and "uncalled for" and claimed that the union did not seek recourse in order to resolve their grievances. It also alleged that the NAAPE was in cahoots with competitors jealous of Air Nigeria's progress.
"It is very unreasonable and cheap blackmail for NAAPE to embark on strike action based on non payment of May salaries at the mid night of May 31st when infact some of the staff had collected their salaries with the rest of the staff still being processed.
It is therefore illegal and criminal for NAAPE to allow itself to be used by Competitors, who are envious of the giant steps already taken by Air Nigeria and Management is already working on a policy that will put a permanent stop to this cheap blackmail

The NAAPE has been a perpetual thorn in the side of Air Nigeria's management, as in November of last year, they again moved to strike following the sacking of Air Nigeria's Head of Maintenance Department James Erigba, because of a disagreement over an aircraft's airworthiness.