Aviation workers to resist conversion of Arik Air to ‘Eagle’ airline

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Workers in the aviation sector have vowed to resist the decision of the Federal Government to begin movement of assets, including personnel, of Arik Air, under receivership of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), to a proposed NG Eagle Airline without the resolution of all labour-related matters.

The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) said, while the union welcomed the proposed new airline because of job creation potential, 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.”

NUATE scribe, Ocheme Aba, said the union considered it most unfortunate that an odd combination of AMCON’s egoistic, evasive and self-defeating tendencies on one hand and Arik Air’s unrelenting penchant for courting crisis on the other hand have evoked a perplexing atmosphere of forlornness in the airline.

He noted that both organisations have demonstrated lack of capacity/disdain for labour relations, hence it is practically impossible to be hopeful of any good thing, which explains the union’s misgivings concerning NG Eagle.

He said, “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 for subsisting collective bargaining agreements and relevant labour laws.

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“Is NUATE expected to cheer them on to the neglect of its responsibilities and obligations to its members in the airline?”

The NUATE scribe added further that “if arrangements 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?”

He stated that the union had the right to ask the nation’s leaders the rationale behind the uninhibited aiding and abetting of what it considered social-economic criminality.

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