One of the leading unions in the Nigerian aviation industry, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), has warned aviation companies against taking unilateral decisions that may negatively affect workers in the sector, as Covid-19 ravages world’s economies.
The union also called for partnership between it and organizations in the sector, saying that the union stood firmly with them at the trying moment.
A statement by Comrade Ben Nnabue, President, NUATE, and made available to journalists in Lagos, said that the union sympathised with the organizations in the sector, but noted that the current adverse situation was temporary.
Nnabue emphasised that the union preferred to dialogue with organisations, rather than show of might, which might arise from some organisations.
The statement said: “Flowing from the foregoing, we wish to inform all the impacted aviation companies that NUATE stands firmly with them as a social partner. And we throw our doors open for discussions with them for the purpose of arriving at workable grounds upon which both sides will ride this testing period. We thank those companies that have already approached us in this respect.
“We hasten, however to advise all our partners against unilateral actions that could be without heart. The present adverse situation is but temporary. Therefore, all actions at this time need to draw from our common humanity.
“For, it must be noted that there will be the other side of this present adversity where we shall all still be together as families. We consider dialogue, as against show of might, a better approach, especially at this time. This is a clarion call.”
The body regretted that aviation industry had been hit most by the spread of the disease as international travel and closure of some airports, was having a huge toll on the sector.
NUATE feared that some of the smaller entities might be unable to survive the crush, noting that the present situation called for sober thoughts.
Nnabue, warned that the psychological trauma imposed by the condition might lead to health issues and cause greater spending for workers in the sector.
It, however, commended the Federal Government who, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had announced an intervention fund of N1trillion to mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are grateful that aviation has been named among the beneficiaries, and hopeful that the sector will actually be given the lion share. This is against the background of the well-grounded view that the adverse effects of the coronavirus on aviation far outstrips the impact of 911 for which aviation received quite substantial interventions all over the world.