Management of Aero Contractor has reported the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, and the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, to the Labour and Productivity Ministry over attempts by the unions to undermine its operations.
Aero in the petition which the Ministry of Aviation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and State Security Service, SSS, were copied, complained about threats by these unions to its operations.
The management of Aero in the petition asked the relevant bodies to help the airline check the unwholesome practice of these associations because of its serious safety implications on its operations as an airline.
The management of Aero while saying that the airline was open to discussions and ideas towards resolving labour disagreements, maintained that what was unacceptable to them was the inability of the unions to follow due process in resolving labour issues.
A statement signed on behalf of Aero by the acting managing director/chief executive officer, Iyene Amapakabo, noted that the company remained a responsible and responsive organisation and would continue to dialogue with the union once the environment is conducive for such.
The management of Aero while explaining their position on the ongoing problem with aviation unions noted that “on the 11th of December 2015, the chairmen of the Aero branch of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, and National Union of Air transport Employees, NUATE, in persons of Messrs Emakpor Ayo-Ife and Adeniyi Adenuga requested for management approval through the Human Resources Department to hold a congress meeting on 14th December, 2015. The request was expressly approved on that premise as it is the practice.”
The airline explained further that, “To our surprise and outside the normal operandi of the congress meeting, the associations stormed our premises with their own press crew and security details in such a predetermined manner and protested within and around the company premises, thereby causing serious embarrassment to our esteemed customers. In the cause of this protest on 14th December, 2015, two of our staff who are also members of the association (Messrs Emakpor Ayo-Ife and Adeniyi Adenuga) divulged sensitive company information to the press which is contrary to the company’s policy and had the tendency to portray the company in bad light.
In line with this, the HR department was directed by management to initiate disciplinary procedure against two of the company’s employees who are incidentally members of these associations for infringement of company policy.
To this end, both employees were issued with queries by the acting head of the company’s Human Resources Department and the responses received from these employees pointed to the fact that there was a need for the company to carry out investigation into the matter.
“In line with the policy of our company and international labour laws, when the need arises for an investigation to be conducted concerning infringements of this nature, the company places the relevant staff on suspension pending the outcome of the investigation in order to forestall the employee from interfering with the investigation process. “
Aero in the statement narrated that, “To our dismay and embarrassment, immediately the disciplinary procedure was being initiated by the Human Resources Department of the company, the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, and the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, wrote us letters threatening to disrupt the activities of the company if the disciplinary procedure is not reversed
“We find the attitude of these Associations unacceptable and their disposition towards our company in relation to their biased stand regarding the present issue has led the management of our company to conclude that, in future, these associations will attempt to frustrate our company’s efforts towards maintaining staff discipline if left unchecked and it is in this vein that we officially reported these Associations to the Labour and Productivity Ministry, copying the Aviation ministry, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and State Security Service .”

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