We Cannot Stop Our Members From Securing Jobs In Any Airline–Galadima, NAAPE President
The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers(NAAPE) has stated categorically that the association cannot stop its members from seeking employment in airline B if he is fired by airline B based on the fact that the Nigerian aviation is part of the global competitive market, where movement is allowed.
The President of NAAPE, Engr. Abednego Galadima said this while receiving the new Executive of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents(LAAC) led by its Chairman, Olusegun Koiki, who paid a courtesy call on NAAPE at the weekend in Lagos.
He explained that he raised the issue at the National Assembly during a public hearing last year and that it yielded very good results as NAAPE members that were sacked by an airline ,whose name he did not mention have secured jobs in other airlines
Speaking further, he said, “If you recall at the National Assembly public hearing last year, I raised an issue, which caused steer, but actually, it has yielded result because our members who were sacked by a particular airline are getting jobs from other airlines. We worked with the regulatory body (NCAA) and that has been overturned. Some of the pilots that left Airline A for instance are now working in Airline B and others. There is migration.”
“The simple reason is that we are in a competitive and a free market economy. So, you can’t stop people from moving.
Again, NAAPE as a part of its strategies is already building bridges so that we can move with one voice in the sector. One of such efforts is the meeting that we are going to be holding on Monday (tomorrow) with the leadership of AON. And some of those issues will still be fine-tuned through the meeting.
“We want industrial harmony where the workers and the employees will have peace in their relationship. NAAPE has made so much effort in moving the industry forward,”
On the sacked pilots in airlines due to COVID-19 pandemic, Galadima said that NAAPE has intervened in all the issues the association had with airlines and that Bristow for example has paid all its members that were declared redundant.
“Already, we have intervened in all the issues we had with the airlines in the past. For instance, in Bristow, the company claimed that their business has dwindled and therefore some of the staff including our members were declared redundant, but they have paid them. Everyone has been paid, nothing is outstanding.
“In the case of Air Peace, as I speak with you today, the airline has returned the staff salaries to pre-COVID -19 pandemic. And then, they also gave opportunity to those who want to come back to do so”.
Speaking on Pension for members, Galadima said that most private operators still owe its members pension and that they have refused to remit the pension deducted from their salaries
In his words, “Most private operators still owe our members pension.They deduct and not remit. We want them to be sensitised and let them know that it is not right. By the time it is accumulated, they won’t be able to pay again. So, we want the entire industry to know.”
The NAAPE President also disclosed that the issue of redundancy payment in Aero Contractors has lingered on for too long and that the airline has not been able to pay people it rendered redundant in 2016.
He called on the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria(AMCON) to ensure that these staff who were declared redundant were paid their entitlements to enable them move on with their lives.
On the total amount owed those declared redundant by Aero, Galadima informed that close to 50 of its members were affected by redundancy in Aero and that the total money is still being calculated because the management, according to him reneged on its promise to give every member a letter communicating to them what they are entitled to .
“We can’t give you a specific figure at the moment. The union has agreed with the airline’s management since 2016. It depends on how many years you have spent that will determine what will be given to you as a redundancy claim. The situation at Aero is still precarious.
According to him, “We are still battling to see that our members are paid their entitlements. You know the time value for money has already been lost. We are calling on AMCON to ensure that these monies are immediately paid so that these Nigerians will get on with their lives.
NAAPE, he stated, was always willing to support the growth and development of the industry, adding that it was as a result the association’s willingness that it advocated recently for the industry to be given some palliatives because NAAPE knows it has a symbiotic relationship with airlines.
“Once the airlines benefit, our members too will benefit. Aviation industry is the only sector that we know. We want the industry under our watch to grow.” he said.