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Aero Contractor woes increases as ex-staff demand severance benefits

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Sacked workers of Aero Contractors want management of the airline to fulfill their promise of paying up their severance benefits.
Eight months after about 60 per cent workforce were laid off over redundancy claim, the airline is yet to pay the affected workers their entitlements.

The airline before the exercise had more than 1000 employees.
One of the affected workers who didn’t want his name mentioned decried the failure of the management to pay the affected staff.

According to another worker, few of the affected workers were paid just two months salaries of the seven months owed them by the airline before the redundancy claim in March.

However, it was gathered that the management of the airline had reabsorbed some of its technical staff, following the approval given to it recently by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to carry out C-Check on series of Boeing 737 aircraft. Those reabsorbed were less than 5 per cent of the sacked workers.

It was also gathered that the fleet of the airline has further depleted to just two aircraft; the two Dash 800 aircraft and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), which took over the running of the airline since 2011 was not ready to pump in money to the airline to revive it.

According to a source close to the airline “Most of us that were declared redundant by the Aero management are yet to paid our severance packages months after. AMCON management is not willing to pump money into the airline and without the injection of funds by AMCON, the current management, can’t get resources to carry out most of the projects they already mapped out.

“Abroad, before you shut any organisation, you must have funds to pay the workers their benefits. AMCON and the management took the right decision to allow the airline to continue in operation, but its unfortunate that they don’t want to pay us the severance packages as promised earlier.

“All the airline needs is just two additional airplanes, maybe two of its B737 that are going through checks abroad. Currently, Aero has only two Dash 800 aircraft in its fleet, a far cry from 18 at its pick.

It would be recalled that in August last year, the airline suspended operations for almost four months, only to resume skeletal operations in December 2016, but since then, the airline, which hitherto prided itself as a leading carrier in the country, had not made any impact in the local scene while it suspended all its regional operations.

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