Unions in Nigeria’s aviation sector are threatening to embark on an indefinite strike beginning on March 10 following the failure of the management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to implement a pay rise agreement.
The threat is contained in a letter to the Managing Director of NAMA, Mr. Nnamdi Udoh, dated February 17. The unions, under the aegis of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Service Technical and Recreational Employees (AUPCRE), declared they would embark on the strike unless the management fully and immediately implements the agreement.
If they make good their threat, the country’s airspace could experience an unprecedented shutdown affecting the operations of both local and foreign airlines.
NAMA’s workers are mostly air traffic controllers, navigation tools maintenance engineers and service providers for the airlines.
The letter to Mr. Udoh was jointly signed by NUATE General Secretary, Abdulkareem Motajo; General Secretary of ATSSSAN, Captain N. Tarnongu; and AUPCRE Secretary, Isidore Opara.
Notifying the NAMA boss of their plans, they asked him to include the payment of 12 months arrears on the staff conditions of service, which they claim was stopped since March, 2013.
Serving the strike notice, the unions recalled that at a meeting held at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Productivity last November, it was resolved that a stakeholders follow-up meeting would be reconvened under the chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation and the resolutions of the meetings of NAMA management and the unions be presented for consideration.
“There was unanimous agreement to the effect that the agreement as contained in the communiqué and the extract of the meetings between the management of NAMA and the unions held on August 7, 2013 be adopted and consequently ratified to pave way for the subsequent adjustment of the consolidated salary structure of NAMA,” the letter warned.