Arik Air operations was Today, December, 3 grounded by the National Union of Air Transport Employees over poor working conditions.
The workers blocked the entrance of the airline’s headquarters, carrying placards with different inscriptions. Which read: “End Arik brutality”, and “Sign our condition of service and recall all staff”.
They alleged that several members of staff had been furloughed and pensions are being owed.
State Secretary of NUATE, Ijeh Anthony, explained that the issue had lingered for long, vowing to continue the strike till all demands are met.
He said, “The contentious issue is the signing of the Conditions of Service which we have been negotiating for the past three years.
“But the only aspect remaining in the CoS is the issue of the severance package. We have sought interventions from the Ministry of Aviation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
“Arik Air Management will always renege.”
At the MM2 terminal, several passengers booked for 8 am flights were stranded while Officials from the airline were seen trying to manage the situation.
However, Arik Air, under receivership by AMCON, has had problems, especially, since COVID-19, with its staff and Aviation Unions based on alleged sack, suspension and other welfare of Staff.
The interventions by both the Ministers of Aviation Hadi Siriki and Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, in the crisis has proved abortive.
On Tuesday, 1st December 2020, a letter to all Arik Staff, under the umbrella of Aviation Unions, NUATE, copied to the the CP Airport Commands, Directors of the DSS, and Airport Chief of Security, MMIA, directed the workers to ground the Airline till further notice.
“As per outcome of the Congress meeting of 2nd December, 2020, and based on the fact that the Management of Arik has completely failed to respond to, in anyway, to the twin demands conveyed from the previous meeting, and the ultimatum having elapsed from 1st December 2020, it is hereby directed by the National Secretariat of NUATE that all services be withdrawn from Arik Air with effect from 3rd December, 2020.
“All workers of Arik Air are enjoined to eschew any divisive tendencies and join hands to secure their present and future by cooperating with NUATE to deal decisively with this matter.
“This action shall persist indefinitely until all Arik workers are fully recalled, and the conditions of service is fully signed into existence.”