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Minister stresses role of unions in aviation growth, development, advocates dialogue, impactful partnerships

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The Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika says, the roles and contributions of trade unions in the development of any Sector is a critical segment of growth, expansion and a veritable definition of developmental strides.

Sirika who stated this at the 2023 Strategic Aviation Unions’ Leadership Conference held in Lagos with the theme: ‘Re-inventing Trade Unionism for Sustainable Growth and development in the Nigerian Aviation Sector’, said, the roles as Trade Unions require a paradigm shift from the status quo to a more engaging and impactful partnerships with Civil Aviation authorities. Jo

The Minister who was represented by the Director, Human Resource Management, Ministry of Aviation, Mrs. Mirian Ikechi Nwokocha, reemphasized against the recent strike embarked on by the unions the importance of dialogue and solution- oriented approaches to resolving all industrial relations matters.

“Government regrets the recent industrial action of the Unions which, by all intents and purposes should not have been contemplated in the first place”.

He noted that, re-inventing Trade Unionism in contemporary global Aviation business is a sine qua non, stressing that, government is not oblivious of the of current challenges in the provision and improvement of workers’ welfare and critical infrastructure in the Nigerian Aviation industry.

Sirika who referred to the union leaders as compatriots said, government regard the unions as partners and this is the surest way to rapid socio- economic growth and development as being propounded in the theme of the conference.

“Suffice to state at this juncture that much as Government regards the Unions as critical partners in the conception, formulation and implementation of enduring policies for the betterment of the Sector, it is our core belief that such kind gesture shall be reciprocated by the leadership of the Trade Unions in equal measure”.

In their goodwill messages, the leadership of the unions applauded the minister’s efforts in ensuring that their reviewed condition of service is released by the Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, one of their demands in embarking on the recent warning strike.

President, National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, comrade Abednego Galadinma stressed that the unity of the unions must continuously be strengthened for the good of all members.

“We have to see ourselves as one at all time and the unity must have to be strengthened”.

He added,”Unions of today, we have to reinvent and strengthening our financial capacity to add value to our members by way of tooling them up, add value to our members so that when they are distressed we should be able to come to their aid and again we should have the financial muscle so that we can do our functions without necessarily having to go all the time for financial assistance”.

The Deputy National President, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, Comrade Emmanuel Jaja called on the organizers of the conference to invite not just the public sector alone but also the private sector because they also require the training on labour matters.

”Our employers need this training because when we are dealing with them, they will know that, we are partnering with them, let it not seem as if it’s one-sided”. affairs”.

Forum Secretary, Joint Aviation Trade Union Forum, JATUF, comrade Hector Nnadi said, the minister of aviation had done a lot in carrying the unions along in matters concerning the sector and their welfare.

He emphasized that, the ministry had always partnered the unions for the growth and development of the industry, noting that, partnership and collaboration is key to ensuring industrial peace which the minister desire in the sector.

“Sincerely, he has been fair to the unions because that is why they are having a conference like this, we have many sectors in Nigeria, I doubt if there is any sector that actually brought their union leadership together both the rank and file”.

“I wish us well and I also pray that we take advantage of this platform which the Ministry in partnership with the leadership of JATUF has provided to acquaint ourselves of what the challenges are, whether we expected there will challenges or not, certainly there would be but how do we move forward, how do we achieve, how do we get result”.

The 3-day conference which kicked off today is organized in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Aviation and JATUF

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