Aviation unions have vowed to paralyse the nation’s airports and disrupt flight services as they expressed their readiness to participate in the planned strike by organised labour scheduled to begin tomorrow.
The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) and the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) in a notice dated November 3, 2018, said that they would participate actively in the strike to call for review of the national minimum wage.
The notice was signed by Comrades Temenu Akinola (NUATE), Frances Akinjole (ATSSSAN), Ocheme Aba (NAAPE) and Abdulrasaq Saidu for ANAP.
The unions said they backed the agitations of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC) to ensure that the workers were appropriately paid their wages. They said the airspace would be shut down from 12 am on November 6, 2018.
The notice also applied to all businesses and agencies involved with aviation, as they were urged to adjust their businesses accordingly. The unions stressed that they would ensure that activities in the sector are ground to a halt.
The notice read in part: “In complying with the directive of the labour centres, therefore, we issue this notice to all workers in the aviation sector to withdraw all services from 00:00hrs of November 6, 2018.
“The notice also applies to all businesses and agencies involved with aviation to be aware of the above situation and adjust business accordingly. The general public, especially the international travelling public, are equally notified to avoid, or cancel, plans to utilise workers in the aviation sector.
“For emphasis, all workers must comply with this directive as our unions will not tolerate any sabotage of the strike.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured that there will not be scarcity of petroleum products during the industrial unrest.
The corporation’s spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, assured that it has a stock of petroleum products to sustain a minimum of 39 days sufficiency and about 25 days availability on land.
The declaration is coming amid the insistence of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and other trade unions of commencing a nationwide strike from Tuesday.
Following the stalemate in discussions on a new national minimum wage for workers, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NLC at the end of its meeting last Wednesday said there was no going back on a total strike come Tuesday.
The NLC said its members were not accepting anything less than the N30,000 it said was agreed as new minimum wage at a tripartite meeting with government and private employers of labour.
However, the federal government insists on a N24,000 minimum wage package, while state governors said they would be able to pay only N22,500.
Although the federal government said on Friday it secured a court injunction to restrain workers from embarking on the strike, the NLC leadership said nothing can stop the planned nationwide action.