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FG pleads with aviation unions to end strike

THE Federal Government has issued a strong appeal to aviation unions to end their ongoing strike, which has caused significant disruption to air travel across the country.

The FG also expressed its displeasure that the unions proceeded with the strike, despite efforts to meet their demands.

In a statement, Odutayo Oluseyi, the ministry’s Head of Press and Public Relations, said the strike is unnecessary because it will increase hardship “on our citizens, affect flight schedules, lead to economic losses, and negatively impact our rating globally.”

Oluseyi, speaking on behalf of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, stated that the unions’ grievances should not have prompted a strike.

She said that the planned demolition of certain buildings obstructing the runway is in the public interest and an administrative issue that can be handled internally.

According to Oluseyi, the unions should have met with agency management to discuss alternative accommodations for all affected offices before going on strike.

The statement read, “On the Concession of airports, the Unions are aware of global practices and for the Aviation industry in Nigeria to be the hub in Africa, the concession is the way to go to improve infrastructure and make our airports economically viable as this is without loss of jobs.

”On Conditions of Service in some of the Agencies, it is a work in progress. The National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission is already carrying out assessments and will soon conclude.

”The Unions should also note if they are not already aware, that the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage has been finalised and is about to be paid anytime soon. We have always conveyed this information in the several conversations and meetings held with the unions.

”The Management of the Ministry of Aviation is open to continuous engagement with the Unions to improve their welfare. However, this can only be done in an atmosphere of peace and mutual respect.

It added, “Let me reiterate that while we are appealing to the Unions to sheath the sword, the Management will seriously view any behaviour by any Union that is likely to lead to a breakdown of law and order at our airports.

”The Ministry wishes to appeal to the Unions to call off the strike and join hands with Management to make the Aviation industry a hub in Africa.”

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