As aviation unions directed workers across the sector to join in the grounding of flight operations in solidarity with the national body of the union over hike in prices of petrol and electricity tariff effective from Monday, September 28, 2020, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has dissociated itself from the action.
In a statement issued by the chairman of the operators, Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, AON lamented how the airlines had suffered huge losses for over three months during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown and were forced to even lay off staff and significantly reduce the salaries of those that were retained.
According to the statement: “It would be very insensitive therefore and a show of lack of understanding and compassion for Nigerian aviation workers who have suffered greatly from the nationwide restrictions due to the pandemic to be asked to go on strike indefinitely once again.
“Aviation workers need to work to sustain their livelihoods and support their families especially at this crucial time when schools are resuming around the country and they need all the financial support they can muster to survive.
“While we totally understand the concerns of labour of the need to make the government see reason with and identify with the challenges being faced currently by the masses and recently worsened by the ripple effects from the sudden increase in fuel price and electricity tariff, we call on the leaders of the various labour unions to continue to dialogue with the government to find a middle ground that will be a win-win situation. For all parties.
“It’s not in the interest of aviation workers to be asked to back home indefinitely once again after barely resuming operations recently and the airlines are still trying to recover from the lockdown and making concerted efforts to survive and secure the jobs and livelihood of its workers,” the statement said.
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