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NLC Warning Strike Suffers Setback As Aviation Unions Pull Out

As the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) prepares to embark on a two-day warning strike on Tuesday, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has directed all its workers to report to their duty posts.

The regulatory body in a circular issued warned that any attempt by any worker not to comply with instructions will be viewed as sabotage of the ongoing International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) in the sector.

A circular issued with reference NCAA/DHR&A/03/1549/1/163/, signed by Director, Human Resources and Administration, NCAA, Wakil Adamu, dated September 4, 2023, and titled, “Circular letter to all aviation workers with regards to the notice of NLC two day nationwide warning strike”, emphasised the importance of the ongoing audit in the aviation industry hence should not be sabotaged under any guise.

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The aviation unions including the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigerian (ATSSSAN), and Aviation Professionals (ANAP) had earlier announced they are pulling out of the strike for the interest of the sector.

According to the secretary general of one of the unions, ANAP, Comrade Abdulrazak Saidu, the decision to pull out of the two-day warning strike was taken after a review of the internal situation in the sector and the attendant implications, and to protect Nigeria from being sanctioned by the global aviation body in view of the ongoing safety audit of the sector.

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ANAP, therefore, decided not to comply fully with the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC strike so that the ICAO auditors already in the country would be able to carry out their assignment without disruption.

According to Comrade Saidu: NLC NEC has taken the decision and directed all affiliates to mobilise for the two-day warning strike beginning on Tuesday.

“In line with the directive of the NEC NLC, we have issued a circular to that effect in the aviation industry.

“However, after a wide range of consultations in that regard, and considering the volatile and international nature of the aviation industry and best practices, we have discovered that the warning strike will negatively affect the ongoing audit of aviation facilities in the country”, Comrade Abdulrazak Saidu stated.

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He added that “In view of this development, we cannot allow the disruption of the ongoing 10-day audit to cause Nigeria to be sanctioned by the international aviation body.

“Therefore, all normal activities regarding Aviation business should continue uninterrupted”, the unions directed.

All the unions unanimously agreed that they would not partake in the strike because of the ICAO safety audit.

Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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