NLC to Air Peace, Bristow: We're giving you 14 days to reinstate sacked workers/ Ayuba Wabba

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Air Peace, Bristow Helicopters and Turkish Airlines to reinstate all their sacked workers.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, who disclosed this in a statement on Friday, said failure to comply with the directive by the companies would lead to mass actions.  

Wabba said the decision to sack workers by the companies at a time when the world is grappling with the economic impact of COVID-19 shows their insensitivity to the plights of their staff, describing such action as “highly insensitive, callous, and unjust.”

The statement read: “NLC condemns and rejects the recent sack of 100 pilots by Air Peace, 69 pilots by Bristow Helicopters and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) executives working with Turkish Air.

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

“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 savouring the joy of being able to work again to be slammed with sack letters.

“The sack of Turkish Airlines, Air Peace and Bristow Helicopters workers is highly insensitive, callous, and unjust.

“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.”

The NLC President, however, called on the workers to also understand the situation brought about the pandemic, while enjoining them to take the issue of their rights seriously.

He added: “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.

“As agreed between labour and employers’ association, social d ialogue should be used to resolve industrial concerns instead of the current resort to unilateralism.”