Air Peace is set to recall some of its sacked pilots, this was made possible through the intervention of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
It can be recalled that Air Peace had announced the sack of the pilots earlier in August as part of the company’s efforts to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations which made the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) issue the airline a two-week ultimatum to recall the sacked workers or face industrial action.
James Odaudu, the spokesperson of the ministry of aviation, said at a meeting on Tuesday that the management of Air Peace agreed to recall some of the pilots who lost their jobs.
According to Odadu, Allen Onyema, chairman of Air Peace, agreed to recall the maximum number of pilots that his company could accommodate in the light of the current situation as a result of the pandemic.
“In the verbal agreement reached after a dialogue that was held in a very friendly environment, Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, acceded to the Minister’s appeal for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline can accommodate without going under,” Odadu said in a statement.
“He commended Chief Onyema for his enormous contributions in developing the industry but appealed to him to recall the maximum number of the sacked pilots that the airline can comfortably accommodate in the prevailing circumstances to which airline operator agreed.”
In their presentation, NAAPE, led by its chairman, Galadima Abednego, reportedly said that some missteps could have been made in the course of the standoff between the airline and the union. It appealed to the minister to intervene in order to resolve the impasse.
He said as a union, it was a painful thing to see a large number of their members thrown into the labour market and appealed to employers of labour to see the union as a partner and not an adversary.
On his part, Chief Onyema reportedly expressed his sadness and disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots after everything was done to make them comfortable on their jobs.
He said Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots and an equal number of aircraft engineers, giving its staff the best remuneration package within the sector only for them to disappoint at a time their understanding was needed.
Onyema commended the Minister of Aviation for providing the required leadership to the industry and promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in Nigeria. Sirika in his remarks called for the understanding of everyone, especially the labour unions, on the prevailing situation in the aviation industry, saying it was not the time for unnecessary upheavals.
He commended Chief Onyema for his enormous contributions in developing the industry and appealed to him to recall the maximum number of the sacked pilots that the airline can comfortably accommodate in the prevailing circumstances.