Aviation unions in the country are threatening to go on strike over the Federal Government’s inability to to pay the N45bn severance package of former workers of the liquidated Nigeria Airways Limited.
Already, the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) has alleged that the Ministry of Finance was insensitive to the plight of the workers.
According to them, the Ministry’s refusal to pay the workers over 10 months after the approval of the Federal Executive Council was callous.
“We will not wait until the entire workers of the former national carrier die before taking steps to ensure that they are paid their benefits,” the unions said.
Concise News gathered that in a petition, dated March 19, 2018 by ATSSSAN and NUATE, addressed to the Minister of State for Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika, they accused Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun, of intentionally delaying the payment of the severance package despite approval by the government.
The unions stated that, “It is disheartening that the Minister of Finance has unconsciously and negatively prioritised the President’s directive on this matter. She has equally in a most uncaring manner, refused to heed all entreaties by the hapless ex-workers.
“Not even the cries of the growing list of the avoidable deaths and other afflictions created by their excruciating conditions of existence had pinched the minister’s ear.
“Our previous letters to the minister have failed to move her just as an earlier letter from the Nigeria Labour Congress on the matter.
“As we can no longer wait for all the ex-staff of the Nigeria Airways to die before their entitlements are paid, we are, therefore, compelled to force Adeosun to come to terms with the reality of the situation.
“In view of the above, we are sad to inform you that all workers in the aviation sector will commence an indefinite industrial action in 14 days should the ex-Nigeria Airways workers fail to receive their entitlements as approved.”