Aviation workers threaten fresh strike

LAGOS: Barely a week after the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) workers shut down the airspace over labour-related issues, their colleagues at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) have given a 21-day ultimatum to the Authority to meet their demands or they down tools.

Meanwhile, to ensure transparent procurement process in line with the Public Procurement Act (PPA) of 2007, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said that any organisation that does not send in its Expression of Interest would not be evaluated.

The workers through their union, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN) yesterday gave the FAAN’s management a 21-day deadline to address all welfare issues, failure of which will lead to a strike.

Murtala Mohammed airportIn a petition to the Managing Director of FAAN, George Ureisi with copies sent to Ministers of Labour and Productivity and Aviation signed by Mr. Olayinka Abioye secretary of ATSSSAN, alleged that the FAAN management had failed to meet up its obligations in the issue of workers’ welfare.

However, FAAN’s spokesman, Yakubu Dati said: “We are working to resolve the problem. FAAN is a responsible organisation and we want to assure you that the matter will be resolved. We are partners in progress. Both FAAN and ATSSSAN will meet to reach an amicable resolution of this matter”.

According to the petition dated May 22, 2013, the group stated that they “could no longer fold their arms and allow the perpetuation of anti-worker policies, fragrant de motivation and violations of the staff rights and privileges to maximum benefits in their career growth, through promotions, recognition of exemplary conduct and performance with cognate experience”.

The union asked the FAAN management to place on the front burner and proffer solutions to the issue of outstanding promotions of some personnel since 2010 who till date have not received letters of promotion.

They also condemned what they called most retrogressive compensation system whereby newly recruited workers were placed in managerial positions without the required skills, competences and experiences in public service which they said breached and truncated extant rules of public service and FAAN conditions of service.

Describing it as administrative fraud, ATSSSAN urged the management to urgently review such exercise with a view to re-designing the proper staff placement of all newly recruited, employed and redeployed persons into FAAN in accordance with its conditions of service.

The union also demanded the payment of outstanding workers’ 27 per cent since April 2012 in the next 21 days.

The Coordinator of the bid process, Mr. Barnabas Ugochukwu stated this at the weekend while supervising the opening of Expression of Interest for the Procurement of Operational Vehicles through Lease Financing at the NCAA headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

Ugochukwu stated that the opening of the Expression of Interest was in accordance with the PPA, adding the opening would not only follow strictly the PPA of 2007 but that it would be done transparently.

He disclosed that the PPA allows for bids to be opened whether the organisations that expressed their interest were present at the opening or not.

The bid to procure operations vehicles for the NCAA was expressed by seven organisations which include Fidelity Bank, First Bank, Unity Bank, Union Bank, UBA, FCMB and Stanbic IBTC.

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