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Arik Air to be shut down on March 23 as aviation unions go to war with AMCON


– Arik Air is set to be shut down on Thursday, March 23 by aviation unions

– The unions accused the new management of Arik of intolerance to unionism

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– The unions include the National Union of Air Transport Employees and Air Transport Services

The unions include the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers.

The unions reason given for the step is the failure of the airline’s management to reinstate its sacked members.

Recall that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), had on February 9, 2017 taken over Arik air as a result of the airline’s bad debt to the company and other creditors.

However, according to Olayinka Abioye, the general secretary of NUATE, Roy Ilegbodu the new manager of the airline was intolerant to unionism.

Mr Abioye said that in a recent circular, the new management of Arik Air had warned the workers not to join the unions in the industry and had also refused to address all the pending issues affecting the workers.

Mr Abioye said: “Among the issues are the review of conditions of service, remittance of necessary union deductions to their respective unions and the non-reinstatement of sacked union leaders in the airline.”

According to NAN, Abioye also said that in December 2016, the union had issues with the former management of Arik, which led to the shutdown of Arik’s operations for a day, before the intervention of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Abioye said: “Certain commitments were arrived at from the meeting and we were supposed to have a feedback early this year.

“When we got there, the former Arik Air management was not in sight and we later learnt that the AMCON management has taken over the airline.

“As expected from responsible union bodies, we wrote a letter to the new management seeking for a meeting with them, which was approved. We got to that meeting and the airline’s Receiver Manager, acted in an ‘uncivilised’ manner.

“He walked out the leaders of the three unions and asked his bodyguards to send us out.”

The unions, therefore, have resolved to shut down the airline Thursday, Mr Abioye said.

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