Posted by Sade Williams
Many ex-workers of the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) are dying in droves as there is no hope in sight on who pays the severance benefits of the workers.
At least, more than 15 of the 982 ex-workers have died while majority are incapacitated, Ochai Adamu, who spoke on behalf of the retirees at a press conference at the headquarters of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) at Lagos Airport on Wednesday, has said.
He said they want the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) intervene in the matter immediately as the SAHCO has handed off payment of the benefits.
He explained that when the computation of the amount accrueable to the workers were done, it was N3.5 billion but was later reduced to N1.8 billion, adding that none of the workers has been paid anything almost 12 years after the privatisation of the company.
“The issue is who will pay this money.? SAHCO MD said it is BPE that will pay the money , they said we did not work for SAHCO but for government, the first money was paid in 2013 bit it was a peanut, our lawyers took up the matter in 2013 but majority of our people have died, more than 15 people, some are unable to walk.
” There was an understanding that both SAHCO and BPE will work out the payment modalities but nothing has been done since then. They only keep our case in view for more than 11 years
“The issue got to the court but we settled out of court and now at Industrial court but the court is frustrating the matter as the presiding Judge gets transfered few days to the judgment day, this has been been the case and we are tired of waiting on Industrial court eventhough the case is coming up again in November. We want the BPE to intervene now” , the workers said.
It would be recalled that the workers had petitioned Minister of Aviation, Senate and House Committee on Aviation, Director General Bureau of Public Enterprises over refusal of the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO PLC) to pay over N1.8 billion redundancy benefits to 982 ex-worker 12 years after the company was privatized under the guidance of BPE.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and the National Assembly, in turn, wrote the BPE to clarify and give updates and state modalities for the payment of the redundancy benefits as this affects the lives of the workers.