By Sade Williams
Following the intervention of the Hon. Minister of labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, the three Aviation Trade Unions that issued a 15-day ultimatum with effect from October 11, 2017 have agreed to withdraw the notice.
In a meeting today in Abuja, which also had in attendance, the Hon. Minister of State for Transport (Aviation) Alhaji Hadi Sirika as well as the heads of the relevant aviation agencies, the leaders of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) the National Union of Air Transport Employees(NUATE) and the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP- Aviation Sector) blamed their action on the lack of clear information of the reasons behind the Federal Government’s decision to concession the Airports.
A statement signed by Samuel Olowookere, Deputy Director Press, Ministry of Aviation explained that, ‘the meeting which deliberated on all issues raised, particularly what the unions termed “ambiguities” and lack of transparency in the concessioning process, allayed fears that government’s objective would trigger job losses and compound the travails of the workers and retirees.
The Federal Government negotiating team hence explained the good intentions of government, and all the steps taken so far, assured the unions of transparency and adequate representation in the exercise. They were further encouraged to participate actively in the two committees midwifing the concessioning which are Project Steering Committee (PSC) and Project Delivery Team (PDT) as their membership was already guaranteed.
The unions subsequently expressed deep satisfaction at the development and agreed to convey same to their members with a view to withdrawing the ultimatum. They thanked the Hon. Minister of labour and Employment for providing the necessary atmosphere for the Social Dialogue in consonance with the ILO Convention for the protection of their interest.