Posted by Sade Williams
Members of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) at Bristow Nigeria Limited, will embark on an indefinite strike beginning August 3, 2020, over issues bothering on Condistion of Service (CoS), salaries of national pilots and engineers to an obsolete rate of NGN345/$1, among others.
The union in a statement signed by Umoh Ofonime, its Deputy General Secretary, said NAAPE has been actively engaged with the Management of Bristow for some time now in a bid to carry out the renewal exercise of the conditions of service for national pilots and engineers.
It added that NAAPE had previously instructed members in the employment of Bristow Helicopters to embark on a 3 day warning strike at the expiration of which an olive branch was extended to the Bristow management in the form of a seven day notice period during which the union had held out hopes of an amicable resolution to the items under contention but unfortunately, ‘Bristow management was unable to proffer any solution even after the union graciously extended the 7 day notice period at the behest of Bristow management’.
It added that ‘presently all sundry labor matters and negotiations between both parties have broken down, itemizing some of the issues under contention to be :
1. Management’s proposal to suspend the COS negotiations and their deliberate subversion of established terms of agreement with NAAPE.
- Insistence on benchmarking salaries of national pilots and engineers to an obsolete rate of NGN345/$1 coupled with their recent insistence on their proposal to implement NGN355/$1- a rate which is not obtainable on any legal foreign exchange window in the world while still paying expatriate foreigners their full remuneration in USD.
- Failure to train qualified persons for ATPL and failure to fully reimburse individuals who have successfully completed their ATPL through selfsponsorship- a deviation from the agreement in place at the time.
- Disproportionate matching and capped reimbursement cash figure for self-sponsored pilots on ATPL with an employment bond of 30 million naira – An obvious unethical and sharp practice.
- Odious laying off of young cadet and trainee engineers after several years of tearful sacrificial toiling on the basis of a promised career in the company and now in extension of the insatiable thirst of nulling our vitality, the company is prepping for a preposterous and unjustifiable redundancy of engineers and pilots hitherto grossly mistreated vis-å-vis the company’s non-adherence to expatriate quota law, national content law and presidential executive order No.5
- Anomalous implementation of Engineers matrix/chart/progression and refusal to adjust national engineers’ progression in tandem with expatriate nationals and global aviation standards.
- The norms of jettisoning negotiated agreements as in the case of systemic dissolution of engineering work shift in Eket operation.
According to Umoh, NAAPE has consistently engaged Bristow management for amelioration over these issues to no avail.
“As a result of these blatant discriminatory policies and consistent victimization of Nigerian nationals at the hands of Bristow management our members are no longer mentally conditioned to safely deliver their professional obligations under such absurd, discriminatory and excruciating work environment.
“Accordingly, all national pilots and engineers across all bases in Nigeria are hereby directed by the National Executive Council of NAAPE to resume the strike action which will commence at OOhours on August 3rd , 2020.
“This strike action consists of the complete withdrawal of services indefinitely until the issues under contention are fully resolved. This instruction is hereby given under the firm directive of the National Executive Council of NAAPE.
NAAPE uses this medium to issue a strong warning to any detractor to steer away from any acts of sabotage or betrayal. Expatriates are particularly advised not to engage in any actions which may be viewed as an act of sabotage- such action shall define anyone who acts otherwise as an antagonist of good faith and will be met with the appropriate response. To this effect, NAAPE expects and demands full compliance from all members including Chief Engineers and Chief Pilots”, it stated.