By Sade Williams
The three major aviation unions: National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Air Traffic Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), and National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), have inaugurated their executive members in Arik Air.
The ceremony, which took place at the airline’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, MMA, Lagos over the weekend, saw hundreds of the airline’s staff joining the unions.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of new members including the executives, NAAPE’s Assistant General Secretary, Organising, NAAPE, Comrade Femi Ajagbe said the inauguration signified new beginning not just in the airline, but in the industry at large.
He said that the unions would ensure that the welfares of members are not taken for granted and equally promised to support the airline in its developmental plans.
He said, “It is really a welcome development for us to have members in Arik Air. Arik Air is the biggest airline in the industry with the highest number of staff, but in the technical department and support staff.
“Our major aim is to grow the industry, ensure that workers welfares are well taken care of while we will also ensure that the airline continues to grow and remain in business.”
With this inauguration, Arik Air became the second indigenous carrier after Aero, to have its staff join the unions.
Before the swearing-in of members, it was a tug-of-war between the parties involved as the unions had over the years, pressed for unionisation in the airline and others.
Ajagbe further disclosed that plans have reached an advanced stage to equally inaugurate members in Dana Air, Air Peace, FirstNation, Med-View and a few other airlines and organisations in the industry.