By Adekunle Williams
The offices of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) were on Friday reopened for operations following the suspension of the two-day strike by aviation unions.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the unions are: Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE).
Others are the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).
NAN also reports that the workers began the strike on Wednesday to press for the review of the collapsed organogram which they claimed could lead to redundancy in the agency.
A Correspondent of NAN, who visited the NCAA headquarters in Lagos on Friday, observed that the gates were open but that activities had yet to pick up due to the strike.
It was also learnt that the strike was suspended after the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, assured the workers that their grievances would be urgently looked into.
The President of ANAP, Mr Kabir Gusau, told NAN that the unions decided to suspend the strike after the meeting with the minister on Wednesday but had to convince the NCAA workers to toe the path of peace.
“Arising from the meeting with the minister on Wednesday night, the unions decided to only suspend the strike for seven days starting from May 22.
“From the three items we presented, which is the organogram issue, condition of service, and inauguration of parastatals boards, we actually saw sincerity of purpose because of the way he behaved with us.
“As of Thursday, he (Sirika) led our unions delegates to the Salaries and Wages Commission, which has been part of the problem we have been having.
“This is because in the history of our nation, there has been no day the minister personally led unions delegation to the commission concerning condition of service,” he said.
Gusau said on the issue of organogram, the minister had also agreed to set up a committee comprising of NCAA management and the unions to look at the mistakes made in the new organogram.
He said the minister gave the committee seven days to complete their jobs within the stipulated time so it could be approved before the expiration of the administration on May 28.
He said the minister also promised the unions that the incoming administration would inaugurate the boards of aviation agencies.
Gusau said NCAA workers were adamant to continue with the strike on Thursday because there was a communication gap between the unions delegation and the workers.
“By the time we had agreed with the minister to suspend the strike for seven days on Wednesday night, we ought to have returned to Lagos yesterday morning to brief the workers.
“So, it was a mistake because we left the meeting with the minister around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, so the workers were not aware the outcome of our meeting with the minister.
“So, now that we have briefed them, normalcy has been restored and the workers have gone to their offices unlike what happened yesterday.
“The only thing now is that we are now appealing to the Federal Government to abide and go in terms of the agreement within the seven days promised,” he said. (NAN)