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NLC requests reinstatement of 170 sacked pilots, other airline staffs

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has issued a two weeks ultimatum to Turkish Air, Air Peace, and Bristow Helicopters to reinstate the over 170 sacked pilots and other staff of the airline operators.

NLC stated that after two weeks if management of the airlines failed to reinstate the affected workers, it would mobilize the entire Nigerian workforce to the airline operators’ premises and picket the firms.

Through a statement made available to newsmen on Friday, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, alleged that the airline managements did not adopt social dialogue to resolve industrial concerns, saying, instead the operators resort to unilateralism.

While describing the sack as insensitive, callous, and unjust, Wabba stated that the airlines’ actions have been traumatic for the affected workers since the announcement.

According to him, the affected workers were just savoring the joy of being able to work again after psychological and socio-economic difficulties caused by lockdown imposed by Federal Government to flatten COVID-19 pandemic when the operators announced their sack.

The NLC president further disclosed that some of the affected airline staff, particularly Turkish Airlines, were laid off after requesting better welfare for their colleagues.

He stressed that since profit realized by the company were gotten through workers’ commitment to duty, during bad times, they expected business owners to repay workers’ with retaining them and not retrenchment.

“So we call on the management of Turkish Air, Air Peace, and Bristow Helicopters to reinstate all the sacked workers within two weeks. As agreed between labour and Employers’ Association, social dialogue should be used to resolve industrial concerns instead of the current resort to unilateralism.

“We will not hesitate to mobilize the weight of the entire Nigerian workforce to the premises of Turkish Air, Air Peace, and Bristow Helicopters if our demands are not met.

“Clearly, we have a bumpy road ahead of us as the nation and the world recovers from the fallout of Covid-19. Workers are ready to play their part towards the restoration of full productivity and industrial normalcy but that can only be achieved in an atmosphere of mutual respect and sensitivity”, he added.

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