The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), has threatened to down tools over the alleged unilateral and reckless sacking of Pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers by airline operators under the pretense of COVID-19 pandemic.
At a news conference in Lagos, the National President, NAAPE, Mr. Abednego Galadima described the recent sack of pilots and engineers by Airpeace and Bristow helicopters as a flagrant disregard of extant labour and trade union laws of the workplace.
Mr. Galadinma said, its members were subjected under duress to sign new terms of conditions of employment or be fired and their salaries cut without recourse to the traditions and statues governing industrial relations in the country.
“Airline operators have continued to run their business without negotiated conditions of service which is a requirement of our labour and trade union laws and also in keeping with international best practices.”
“Without negotiated conditions of service, our members have become exposed to the whims and caprices of the employers in the industry enthroning a reign of arbitrariness and impunity in the conduct of employee relations within the industry.”
He stated that this must be nipped in the bud before it becomes a greater threat to the survival of the industry, adding that this was capable of unsettling the pilots and engineers which could lead to human errors in operations.
The NAAPE president called on all concerned arms of government and agencies to immediately call Nigeria airline operators to order and ensure they revert salaries to pre COVID-19 levels.
The body also demanded that Bristow helicopters and Airpeace recall all sacked pilots and aircraft engineers until all labour issues were resolved, adding that failure to heed this call, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, should ground their operations as safety would no longer be guaranteed.
The NAAPE president stated that if the call was not heeded in two weeks, they would be left with no option but to withdraw the services of pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers across all airlines.