Arik Air workers have berated the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and National Union of Pensioners (NUP), for asking the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) not to issue Air Operating Certificate (AOC) for NG Eagle airline.
The workers, under the aegis of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association(ATSSSAN), National Association of Nigeria Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAPE) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees(NUATE), Arik Air Branch, gave the warning in a statement signed by the branch chairman and secretary of NUATE, Ogulesi Afeez and Okoloji David as weall as the branch chairman and secretary, NAAPE, Kelechi Alex Ifejika and Numoliya Bethen in Lagos yesterday.
The Arik Air’s unions who warned NUP and ANAP to stay away from the affairs of Arik Air and NG Eagle or face the consequences of their actions said, admonishing NCAA to deny NG Eagle AOC based on the debt Arik Air owes the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN) lacks correlation.
They further stated that there is no correlation between the legacy debt and the issuance of AOC by the regulatory body, saying, the call is not only provocative but also irresponsible for ANAP and NUP to make such a call bearing in mind that the two unions in question do not have members in both Arik Air and NG Eagle.
“To start with, ANAP and NUP are unknown quantities in Arik and NG Eagle. They have no membership in the two airlines, they have no stake whatsoever and as such have neither legal nor moral right over the affairs of the two airlines but, one therefore wonders in whose interest ANAP and NUP are acting.
“More worrisome is resorting to the status of debt collectors by ANAP and NUP. We consider it demeaning for registered trade unions to debase unionism to the extent of actually acting as par thugs for their pay masters in the name of trade unionism,” he stressed.
The unions stated that they have no business with ANAP and NUP, adding that, they totally disassociate themselves from the threat of the two unions to shut down Arik and NG Eagle with no justifiable cause.
The workers affirmed that the unions recognised in Arik Air are; ATSSSAN, NAAPE and NUATE and that they also have the authority to get involved in the affairs of the airlines.
Speaking on the issue, the general secretary of NUATE, Abba Ocheme, who was at the peaceful protest, said, the aviation unions will not tolerate a situation where some unions are trying to pitch other unions against each other, saying, they are supposed to fight for a common goal.
On the call by ANAP and NUP to deny NG Eagle AOC because Arik is indebted to FAAN, the NUATE scribe said NCAA will not reduce its integrity on who to issue AOC to and how to issue it.
“We can count on NCAA to do due diligence on the issuance of AOC,” he said.
He said, what should be the primary focus is the welfare and wellbeing of the workers, adding that, Arik’s existence is threatened and that no one can predict the shape it will take.
“We will support Arik Air, leave the issue of debt to the one owing and the one being owed. Presently, AMCON is not owing anybody . The debt we are talking about is the legacy debt,” he said.