Aero contractors management said on Monday it has reported the activities of two main aviation unions, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and National Union of Air transport Employees (NUATE), to the Labour and Productivity Ministry, the Aviation ministry, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and State Security Service (SSS), over what it called ‘unwholesome practice of these Associations’, saying it poses threat to safety in the organization.
In a statement signed by Iyene Amapakabo, Acting Managing Director of Aero, the company alleged that the members recent actions were against the organisations regulations adding that they were portraying the airline in bad light by releasing sensitive information to the public.
He explained that on one instance, the unions requested to dialogue with the airline, only for them (unions) to protest in the premises of the company in presence of customers without prior notice.
“On the 11th of December 2015, the Chairmen of the Aero Branch of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and National Union of Air transport Employees (NUATE) in persons of Messrs Emakpor Ayo-Ife and Adeniyi Adenuga requested for management approval through the Human Resources Department to hold a congress meeting on 14th December 2015. The request was expressly approved on that premise as it is the practice.
“To our surprise and outside the normal operandi of the congress meeting, the Associations stormed our premises with their own Press Crew and Security details in such a predetermined manner and protested within and around the Company premises thereby causing serious embarrassment to our esteemed customers.
‘In the cause of this protest on 14th December 2015, two of our staff who are also members of the Association (Messrs Emakpor Ayo-Ife and Adeniyi Adenuga) divulged sensitive Company information to the press which is contrary to the Company Policy and had the tendency to potray the company in bad light”, he said.
He explained that in line with this, the HR department was directed by management to initiate disciplinary procedure against two of the company’s employees who are incidentally members of these associations for infringements of company policy.
To this end, both employees, he said were issued with queries by the Ag. Head of the company’s Human Resources Department adding that the responses received from these employees’ pointed to the fact that there was a need for the company to carry out investigation into the matter.
“In line with the policy of our company and international labour laws, when the need arises for an investigation to be conducted concerning infringements of this nature, the company places the relevant staff on suspension pending the outcome of the investigation in order to forestall the employee from interfering with the investigation process. To our dismay and embarrassment, immediately the disciplinary procedure was being initiated by the Human Resources department of the company, the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) wrote us letters threatening to disrupt the activities of the company if the disciplinary procedure is not reversed.
“We find the attitude of these Associations unacceptable and their disposition towards our company in relation to their biased stand regarding the present issue has led the management of our company to conclude that, in future, these Associations will attempt to frustrate our company’s efforts towards maintaining staff discipline if left unchecked and it is in this vein that we officially reported these Associations to the Labour and Productivity Ministry, copying the Aviation ministry, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and State Security Service with a plea to look into this matter with the ultimate goal of checking the unwholesome practice of these Associations because of its serious safety implications on our operations as an airline”, he added.
Amapakabo however added that the management of Aero is open to discussions and ideas towards resolving labour disagreement but that is unacceptable is the inability of the Union to follow due process in resolving labour issues.
“We remain a responsible and responsive organisation that we are. And we will continue to dialogue with the Union once the environment is conducive for such”, he said.