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Nigerian Airspace May Close from Midnight as Labour Embarks on ‘Mother of All’ Strike Tomorrow

By midnight today, the entire Nigerian airspace may be closed as the nation’s organised labour has vowed to make real the threat to shut the nation down over the N30, 000 minimum wage imbroglio.

Already, the aviation unions have issued a notice of industrial action stating that all workers must comply with the directive as sabotage will not be tolerated.

The unions in a joint statement signed by Comrade Frances Akinjole of the Air Traffic Senior Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN),Comrade Ocheme Aba of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Comrade Temenu Akinola Assistant Secretary General of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu of the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) stated that the strike is indefinite and called all aviation sector workers to withdraw services.

The notice issued read in part: “as you are all aware, the NLC, TUC and ULC have jointly declared an indefinite national strike commencing from November 6, 2018 over the vexed issue of government’s unwillingness to implement the report of the tripartite committee on minimum wage review.”

“In complying with the directive of the labour centres therefore, we issue this notice to all workers in the aviation sector to withdraw all services from 00:00hrs of November 6, 2018.”

“This notice also applies to all businesses and agencies involved with aviation to be aware of the above situation and adjust their schedules accordingly. The general public, especially the international travelling public, are equally notified to avoid, or cancel, plans to utilize aviation services within the period of the strike,” the statement read.

In an earlier statement, National President of NUATE, comrade Ben Nnabue says this was in compliance with the NLC and other partners in the organized labour to embark on a nationwide strike “due to the inability of the Federal Government to agree on the New National Minimum Wage”.

He said: “all flights operating in and out of Nigeria Airports shall be affected by this industrial action. We appeal to your good sense and understanding in this regard”.

The NUATE President stressed that:  “injustice anywhere was a threat to justice everywhere”.

All heads of aviation agencies are said to have been intimated through letters of the union’s intention to embark on the impending strike and withdrawal of services of its members from all airports in the country.

Federal Government on the 1st of November went to the Industrial Court to stop the organized labour from embarking on the proposal which was granted by the court, however, the NLC and its allies had insisted that no court can stop them from embarking on the planned nationwide shut down as government was being reluctant in fulfilling the earlier agreement of N30,000 as the new minimum wage.

By Gboyega Adeoye

 

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