One of Nigeria’s unions in the aviation sector known as Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSDAN) has declared that it would not accept the unilateral and arbitrary cutting of its member’s salaries and declaration of unpaid leave insisting it is prepared to confront these action, which they tagged “assaults” upon resumption after the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
The union’s threat is coming following the 80 per cent pay cut by the management of Arik Air enforced in April for its workers. Following the economic hardship caused by COVID-19, airlines all over the world suspended operations. British Airways for instance was reported to have sacked about 900 pilots, just as South African Airline has gone into administration.
But in Nigeria, Arik, which also had the option of sacking its workforce like other airline from across the globe advised some workers to precede on leave without pay until further notice beginning from today May 1, 2020. Azman Air on the other hand sent its staff on compulsory leave without pay, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline in a letter dated March 25, 2020, signed by the General Manager, Lawan Suleiman, said it took the decision in view of the current situation.
But the defiant ATSSSAN who do not care about the economic crunch that has hit the global airline business said in their May Day message, which was jointly signed by the National President, Ahmadu Ilitrus and the Deputy General Secretary, Frances Akinjole said union will protect members right to security at workplaces; their right to reasonable wages as well as right to decent work any day, anytime.
The President however said while the association is using this day to empathise with every player in the aviation industry, including the workers, who have been in one way or the other traumatised by the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic, said ATSSSAN is not unaware of the various regrettable assaults some employers are ignorantly directing against the innocent workers in their employment.
He said, “While we genuinely remain accessible to every willing employer for constructive engagement to mutually address the negative impact of COVID-19, towards finding a win-win solution out of this present situation, we shall not accept this regime of unilateral and arbitrary cutting of our members’ salaries and declaration of unpaid leave. We are prepared to confront these assaults upon resumption with every vigour in us and this is not an empty threat!”