Aviation Unions, NAHCO Bicker Over 50% Cut On Workers’ Salaries - 9japarrot


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Saturday 30 May 2020

Aviation Unions, NAHCO Bicker Over 50% Cut On Workers’ Salaries

LAGOS – The Air Transport Senior Staff Ser­vices of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NU­ATE) have threatened to ground operations of the Nigerian Aviation Han­dling Company (NAHCO) Plc over the deductions of workers’ salaries by 50 percent.

The unions in a joint letter dated May 29, 2020, with the head: ‘Notice to all NAHCO Staff’ and obtained by our cor­respondent directed its staff to embark on warning strike for two days; Monday, June 1 and Tuesday, June 2 in order to press home their demands.

The letter was signed by Comrades Frances Akinjole and Ocheme Aba for ATSS­SAN and NUATE, respectively.

The unions said that the warning strike became neces­sary following the breakdown of negotiations with the man­agement on the issue.

After the warning strike, the management said the sit­uation would be reviewed to know the next line of action.

The unions declared that all its members put on unpaid leave by the management should be given 50 percent sal­aries, rather than zero percent, stressing that despite the sor­did situation caused by the ad­vent of coronavirus, the man­agement staff of the ground handling company still get 80 percent of monthly salaries.

The letter reads in part: “Following the stalemated management-unions meeting of Wednesday 20th May 2020 where management attempt­ed to unwittingly reduce to a mere technical excursion our magnanimity of toning down unions’ demand from 80 per­cent to 50 percent and further to our notice of 21st May 2020, all NAHCO staff currently on essential duty are hereby directed to withdraw all ser­vices on 1st and 2nd June 2020 as a warning to the manage­ment of NAHCO.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we reiterate our stand that we shall accept 50 percent monthly salary for our mem­bers placed on unpaid leave as against senior management personnel who are paying themselves 80 percent of their own salary.”

However, no NAHCO staff was available for comment, but a source close to the ground handling company confided in our correspon­dent that the management of NAHCO took the step as a result of the Covid-19 virus pandemic, which has disrupt­ed the economic activities of most countries.

Besides, an internal memo by Ganiyu Afolabi, Head, Hu­man Resources, NAHCO, ob­tained by our correspondent to all staff of the company, said that the unprecedented reduction in the number of flights and volume of cargo across the network arising from the shutdown of the air­space and airports compelled it to put most of its staff on leave-without-pay.

Afolabi in the memo said that the company’s April revenue did not cover its costs including salaries, but the management managed to meet up with the payment of salaries.

The memo expressed doubt about the economy picking up in May and stated that board and management directed that from May 1, 2020, the company would only be able to pay staff who were at work.

It added: “Management will commence recall of staff to work only on a ‘need basis’ as operation picks up. No staff will resume work until they are so advised. All other staff are therefore to proceed on leave without pay with effect from 1st May 2020 until they are recalled.”

It said arrangements were, however, already in place to mitigate the impact of non-payment of salaries to staff who will not be working as follows; performance-based pay for the second half of 2019 (2019B) would be paid in batches starting with Salary scales D and C.

Also, since most staff are presumed to have embarked on their 2020 annual leave during the lock-down, pay­ment of leave allowance to staff who had not been paid their 2020 leave allowance would also commence, adding that the HMO scheme as ap­proved by the board, would be activated to ensure that staff (whether working or not), as well as members of their fam­ilies, had access to medicare.

It emphasised that staff to be recalled would receive a mail from management, while those not recalled now, were enjoined to remain at home, stay safe and healthy and wait to be called.


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