Aviation workers have suspended their planned strike billed to commence today, following an agreement reached with the Federal Government.
Aviation Workers Suspend Planned Strike
The workers had threatened to carry out industrial action over the government’s failure to fulfill its promise to implement the minimum wage and consequential adjustment since 2019 and the conditions of service since 2013.
However, the aviation union suspended the strike planned to commence today following a Memorandum of Settlement reached by the workers and the Federal Ministry of Aviation in the early hours of Tuesday.
Briefing journalists on the agreements reached on Tuesday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige emphasized that serious deliberations were made and the parties have agreed.
He said the meeting concluded that all the agencies that had not paid the minimum wage allowances should write to the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) through the ministry of aviation for consideration/evaluation.
Ngige said, “The National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) was requested to issue a service-wide circular informing all organisations in the public and private sectors that they are bound to implement the National Minimum Wage of 2019/consequential adjustments.
“The Ministry of Aviation is to circulate the circular on the consequential minimum wage adjustment to all the agencies under the supervision of the ministry, requesting them to implement the National Minimum Wage consequential adjustment without any further delay and also clarify that this payment became effective from April 18, 2019, when the Minimum Wage was signed into law.”
The minister said the parties also agreed that those that had exited the system during the period from April 18, 2019, to date would also be paid the arrears.
“The meeting noted that some categories of workers in the aviation sector attract some peculiar allowances, which are not extended to others and stated that those salary structures that are not captured in the Memorandum of Terms of Settlement signed and dated 9th, 14th, 15th 16th, 17th and 18th October 2019 between the Federal Government and organised labour on the consequential adjustment of the other wages, would attract consequential adjustment as agreed during the negotiations of the Federal Government with the labour centres -The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria in October 2019,” Ngige noted.
He said the meeting concluded that all the agencies that had not paid the minimum wage allowances should write to the NSIWC through the Ministry of Aviation for consideration/evaluation.
According to him, the NSIWC promised to process all as soon as possible and consequently, the parties agreed that the consequential adjustment of the Minimum Wage of 2019 based on the approved government templates should be implemented on or before the end of the first quarter of 2022.
Regarding the non-approval of the reviewed conditions of service of the agencies under the aviation ministry, Ngige said they noted that the issue was a protracted one, having been ongoing for about nine years.
He said the meeting charged the management to take more proactive steps to conclude the review of the conditions of service to boost the morale of the workers and retain the best technical staff in the industry.
A statement by the labour ministry spokesman, Mr Charles Akpan, said the meeting agreed that by the end of the first quarter of 2022, the aviation ministry should ensure the approval, release and implementation of the renewed CoS for all the workers in the agencies under the ministry.
“In view of the above, the seven-day ultimatum issued for a planned industrial action effective February 8, 2022, is hereby suspended,” it stated.
KanyiDaily had reported how the operations of Arik Air were shut down by the aviation unions over alleged non payment of staff salaries after placing 90 percent of the workforce on compulsory leave and other anti-labour practices.