NLC to Air peace, Bristow helicopters: recall sacked pilots within 14 days

The Nigeria Labour Congress has condemned and rejected the sack of 100 Pilots by Air Peace and 69 Pilots by Bristow Helicopters.

The union also condemned the sack of the executives of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) working with Turkish Air.

The NLC said the sack of the workers by the airlines was highly insensitive, callous, and unjust.

In a statement by President of the NLC, Ayubba Wabba, the union gave the airlines two weeks to recall the sacked workers or face industrial unrest.

The NLC vowed to fight for the reinstatement of the sacked workers and for workers’ unionisation in Air Peace.

“We call on the management of Turkish Air, Air Peace and Bristow Helicopters to reinstate all the sacked workers within two weeks.

“As agreed between labour and Employers’ Association, social dialogue should be used to resolve industrial concerns instead of the current resort to unilateralism.

“We will not hesitate to mobilise the weight of the entire Nigerian workforce to the premises of Turkish Air, Air Peace and Bristow Helicopters if our demands are not met,” the statement said.

According to the NLC, it is “very traumatic for workers who are still reeling from psychological and socio-economic difficulties imposed by the recent lockdown measures and are just savoring the joy of being able to work again to be slammed with sack letters.”

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The statement added: “We deplore the offering of poor workers as the sacrificial lambs by unscrupulous business owners. During the good times, workers were the hands that created the profit and wealth. During bad times, we expect businesses to repay the faith and commitment of the workforce.

“As was done to the financial sector, we urge government to immediately release palliative support to the aviation industry.

“Clearly, we have a bumpy road ahead of us as the nation and the world recovers from the fallout of Covid-19. Workers are ready to play their part towards the restoration of full productivity and industrial normalcy but that can only be achieved in an atmosphere of mutual respect and sensitivity. Nothing else would suffice.

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“We also call on all workers to understand that these are dreary times. Workers must take the issue of the defense of their rights seriously. Workers should insist on their rights to join unions. This is a safety valve. No employer is allowed by our laws to intimidate workers out of their constitutionally guaranteed rights to join trade unions.”

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