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NG Eagle: Union expresses concern for staff welfare as Arik begins transfers of personnel to NG eagle

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The yet to take off new airline, NG Eagle to be floated by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, has pitched the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, against the Management of Arik Air.

The union is seeking to know where the staff of Arik Air stand as the airline Management has commenced the deployment of assets and its personnel to the yet to start of airline.

During a congress/protest meeting today at the headquarters gate of Arik Air, Secretary General of NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba says, the union wants to know the benefits of the two airlines Arik and NG Eagle to its members.

According to him, the union is not against the NG Eagle because NUATE considers it to be a very positive and welcome development.

“A new airline would normally create job opportunities, provide incentives for deeper business penetration and generally widen the Nigerian aviation horizon. To these extents, all stakeholders, ourselves inclusive, must extend warm welcome to the NG Eagle when it finally unveils”.

But however described the combination of Arik and NG Eagle as an, “ominous signs that what should ordinarily be a lofty project will likely run into a heavy storm being created by a thoroughly fouled and convoluted industrial atmosphere at Arik Air.”

Comrade Aba says, AMCON motive for setting up the NG Eagle is, “to open a window of business opportunity as a way to recoup its heavy financial losses through the heavy debts in Arik and Aero. But, surely NUATE can’t be the only ones wondering what sort of business ingenuity there could be in running three airlines simultaneously”.

The union scribe noted that, presently, AMCON has already moved some Personnel of Arik Air to NG Eagle, “while being loudly silent on the service records of such personnel in Arik Air. What happens to the previous years of service, or how assured is the security of such service in their new assignments? Or, shall such service be in vain?”.

He added, “AMCON and the management of Arik have arrogated to themselves the powers to probate and reprobate on all issues pertaining to status of employees in this ingenious business melodrama, with complete disregard to subsisting collective bargaining agreements and relevant labour laws. Is NUATE expected to cheer them on to the neglect of its responsibilities and obligations to its members in the airline?”

“If this conundrum by AMCON will lead to depopulation of the employed and increase in poverty, as is clearly established, shouldn’t one wonder why the Government and its relevant agencies appear to either be acquiescent or in actual aid of the furtherance of the obnoxious objective? Are we permitted to ask of our leaders the rationale behind the uninhibited aiding and abetting of this social-economic criminality?”

The union therefore called for urgent intervention by appropriate government agencies – Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Aviation, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, saying, “we have raised the labour aspects before the Management of Arik Air as trade disputes. Should the Management raise itself to the needed open mindedness and heartedness then we are willing and desirous of resolving them amicably as expected of progressive social partners”.

“Then we shall welcome NG Eagle with our Solidarity Song and pop champagne”.

“But, in the event that the reverse of the above is the case, then we shall sing our Solidarity Song as a call to the struggle to fight for the rights of Arik Air’s long suffering employees. The ball is in their court”.

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