The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the management of Turkish Air, Air Peace and Bristow Helicopters to reinstate all the sacked workers within two weeks.
The NLC in a statement by its President, comrade Ayuba Wabba said organised labour will not hesitate to mobilize the weight of the entire Nigerian workforce to the premises of Turkish Air, Air Peace and Bristow Helicopters if their demands are not met.
He explained that as agreed between labour and Employers’ Association, social dialogue should be used to resolve industrial concerns instead of the current resort to unilateralism.
He said, “The Nigeria Labour Congress condemns and rejects the recent sack of 100 Pilots by Air Peace, 69 Pilots by Bristow Helicopters and NUATE union executives working with Turkish Air.
“It is very traumatic for workers who are still reeling from psychological and socio-economic difficulties imposed by the recent lockdown measures and are just savoring the joy of being able to work again to be slammed with sack letters. The sack of Air Turkish, Air Peace and Bristow Helicopters workers is highly insensitive, callous, and unjust.”
The NLC also said the “unilateral sack of executive members of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) working with Turkish Airline is particularly distressing.”
He said section 12 sub section 14 of Nigeria’s Trade Union (Amendment) Act 2005 provides for voluntary membership of trade unions and stipulates that no worker should be victimized for joining a trade union or participating in the activities of a trade union, adding that the sack of NUATE executives working with Turkish Air violates their human and trade union rights.
Wabba said “During the good times, workers were the hands that created the profit and wealth. During bad times, we expect businesses to repay the faith and commitment of the workforce. As was done to the financial sector, we urge government to immediately release palliative support to the aviation industry.
“Clearly, we have a bumpy road ahead of us as the nation and the world recovers from the fallout of Covid-19. Workers are ready to play their part towards the restoration of full productivity and industrial normalcy but that can only be achieved in an atmosphere of mutual respect and sensitivity. Nothing else would suffice.”