Arik Air Resumes Full Operations After 24-hour Shutdown
Barely 24 hours later after their workers downed their tools, It seems Arik Air management and the workers have settled their differences as they resumed back today.
The management of Arik Air has resolved the impasse with labour unions comprising the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and National Association of Aircraft Pilot and Engineers (NAAPE).
This followed a meeting convened by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Thursday evening with the parties.
The protest by the unions seeking the re-instatement of their sacked leaders in Arik grounded the operations on Thursday while the airline only resumed operations this morning.
There was a mild drama during the protest as some workers of the airline staged a counter protest within the premises of the airline at the same time the union leaders were protesting outside the premises, telling the unions to leave them alone.
Arik Air also said the action of the unions is illegal because the motive behind it is unclear, noting that since the airline was taken over by AMCON on February 6, salaries are being paid regularly.
Arik Air, the largest airline in the country, was recently taken over by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) which has appointed a new management for the airline.
However, the unions are accusing the new management of intolerance to unionism prompting them to shut down the airline which is still gasping for breath.
Since AMCON took over Arik Air, the airline has cut down its flights to 30 per cent q and the management has only paid one month out of the two months’ salary the former management of the airline owed staff.
Also, many of the airline’s 28 aircraft are still on ground while only five are in operation. It was learnt that Arik currently operates less than 20 flights daily instead of the over 60 the present management inherited.
Other issues raised by the union are review of conditions of service, remittance of necessary unions’ deductions to their respective unions and the non re-instatement of sacked union leaders in the airline.
However following the intervention of NCAA, the matter was settled though the terms of settlement were not known as of press time.
Meanwhile the management apologised to its customer for the disruption of services today following the picketing of its operations by the unions.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu said: “We sincerely apologise to our customers for the disruption of our operations caused by the picketing of our services. We have resolved the issue with the unions and wish to inform the traveling public that our services will resume tomorrow morning’’ it said.