Arik Air operation has been shut down by Aviation unions over alleged failure to pay seven months’ salary arrears of workers and other anti-labour practices.
The Chief Executive Officer of Arik, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, made the appeal in a letter written to the minister entitled: “Re-Unions in Arik Air threaten to down tools September 14th” in Lagos on Sunday, following a threat by the union.
Mr Ilegbodu appealed to the minister to intervene in seeking for the understanding and cooperation of the workers’ unions.
“We remain committed to protecting the airline and assure our stakeholders of a safe and conducive working environment.
“We shall also protect the interest of the flying public for a safe, friendly and on time travelling experience,” he said.
Our correspondent who monitored the situation in Lagos reports that all Arik Air operations were shut down including airlines as passengers expressed reservations.
Innocent Atasie, Chairman, ATSSSAN, Arik Air Branch told newsmen that the workers resolved to shut down Arik operations nationwide when all efforts made to resolve the problem failed.
Mr Atasie said that the unions were miffed that there had been no payment of staff salaries since April after placing 90 per cent of the workforce on compulsory leave.
The unions said the strike would continue indefinitely, until their demands were met by the management of Arik Air.
Their demands included- payment of outstanding salaries arrears, signing of Conditions of Service, remittance of Pension, Tax, and statutory deductions to the appropriate authorities and to resolve other anti-labour issues.
Others were payment of salary arrears of seven months, with a commitment to pay salaries as at when due, henceforth.
Mr Atasie said that the unions also wanted the immediate review of all employee remunerations which had remained stagnant since the inception of Arik Air, over ten years ago.
He said that the unions decided to shut down all operations nationwide when all efforts by the unions were aborted.