Let strike be last resort, Onyema urges aviation workers

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, has urged aviation union workers in the country to ensure that industrial action is their last resort in their agitations.

He disclosed this while speaking on Arise Television on Monday.

While imploring the government to prioritise the union demands, he added that industrial actions should not be considered if parties involved are open to dialogue.

It was reported that workers in the aviation sector embarked on a two-day warning strike last Monday and Tuesday.

The strike followed the refusal of the government to meet some of their demands.

“Let strike be the last resort. As a non-violence practitioner, and as long as the other party is open to discussion, you must continue to avail yourself of that opportunity to continue discussing.

“It is only employed in a non-violence parlance when the other party refuses to discuss. But as long as your party is ready to discuss, there shouldn’t be direct action. However, complaints should be looked into,” Onyema said.

He added that industrial actions affect the industry saying, “Whenever these strikes erupt in the aviation industry, it is the airlines that suffer most, together with the flying public,” he said.

“The loss of revenue and the cost associated with the strikes are enormous. Airline operators in Nigeria lost several billions of naira within those two days of disruptive activities and no one is going to give that back to us.

“The insurance on our planes is static. Whether you fly, or we don’t fly, those aeroplanes have been insured. Salaries are to be paid and monies owed to fuel vendors, they must be paid.

“So, each time you call for a strike in the aviation sector, it is very disruptive and the consequences are very, very high.

“I have to say this, the aviation sector is tied to the security of the country, and anything to do with national security is taken very seriously.”

Meanwhile, it was reported that Air Peace has disclosed its readiness to evacuate stranded Nigerians in Sudan, North-East Africa for free if the Federal Government can get them to a safe and secure airport in any of the neighbouring countries bordering Sudan.

Onyema, in a statement noted that Nigerian students and others stranded in the war-racked nation have urgent “needs our help.”

“Again, Air Peace is willing to evacuate Nigerians stranded in Sudan free of charge if the government can get them to a safe and secure airport in any of the neighbouring countries bordering Sudan. Everything must not be left to the government and the government alone.

It added, “We are very ready to do it immediately. No time wasting. Any action that would promote national pride, national cohesion, peace and unity, we are for it.”

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