Sirika stops building demolition, unions review strike Tuesday

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has aborted plans to demolish the building housing some agencies in the aviation sector. The building located in Lagos was slated for demolition as part of the ministry’s efforts to restructure the aviation sector.

The decision was taken following two days of protests by unions representing workers in the agencies. The unions had threatened to embark on an indefinite strike this week if their demands were not met.

Meanwhile, the aviation unions have scheduled a meeting for Tuesday to review their plans for the strike. The unions are demanding better working conditions, improved welfare packages and a review of the workers’ salaries.

Last week, the National Assembly Joint Committee on Aviation, led by Senator Christine Olujumi and Nnolim Nnaji, directed the minister to halt the planned demolition of the offices of the aviation agencies in Lagos.

The committee expressed concerns about the frequency of industrial actions and disruptions to flight operations in the country, noting that many of the issues causing agitation were longstanding.

It also directed the minister to provide all documents relating to the workers’ grievances, including the non-implementation of the minimum wage adjustment agreed upon in February 2022 and the non-release of reviewed conditions of service by relevant government agencies for a decade.

In a message sent to newsmen on Saturday, the Secretary-General, National Union of Aviation Transport Employees, Ocheme Aba, noted that there was a Zoom meeting on Friday with Sirika, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and other government officials, together with the union leaderships.

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