May 31, 2023

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Aviation unions unyielding, strike holds as UAE begins April salary payment today

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As aviation workers in Nigeria are engrossed in avoidable struggles (though inflicted on them) to earn decent wages, allowances, and conditions of service rightly due to them, the government of the United Arab Emirates, UAE, has directed government businesses to begin payment of April salary today, 17th April 2023.

Despite the protracted Zoom meeting held with leaders of the unions which dragged on till very late in the night on Sunday yet, a compromise could not be reached as the unions were not swayed by all the assurances given by the government representatives present at the Zoom parley.

Present at the meeting were heads of all the aviation agencies including the leadership of the aviation ministry led by its accountable officer, Dr. Melbone, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Aviation.

The Government representatives fervently appealed to the unions that the timing of the strike would inflict monumental damage to the nation’s economy among other things.

Other reasons adduced by the federal government representatives which they believed should compel the union to rethink were that; the foreign airlines had already threatened to suspend their Nigeria routes and the strike action would convey a very bad impression about Nigeria.

It was also announced at the meeting that, the unions’ demand of consequential allowance and salary adjustment for NIMET staff had been granted. The unions’ leaders were assured that the changes shall reflect in the workers’ April salaries.

Government representatives from the Ministry of Aviation, led by the Permanent Secretary, and the Director Admin & Human Resources said the National Income, Salaries and Wages Commission, NISWC, had already dispatched invitations to the Agencies and the unions for a meeting on Tuesday, 18th April 2023, and the meeting is expected to finalize some Conditions of Service, COS, especially that of workers in the employment of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.– proposal jointly agreed and submitted about eight years ago.

In spite of the overtures verbalized by the government representatives to the union leaders, it was glaring the union leadership was not persuaded by the sudden acquiescing to the unions’ prayers before the government.

However, each of all the union leaders engaged in a chat said they would confer with their various chapters and chapel leaders, so as to achieve a very broad and wider cooperation from all categories of members nationwide and not be accused of presumptuousness.

However, an investigation revealed that consultation among the unions’ chapter leaders, and state secretariats of all the unions were at a feverish pitch up to the wee hours of toda.

Succinctly put, the unions’ national leaders could not elicit sufficient support from their members that could be potent enough to quell members’ disdain for the suspension of the strike.

In the same vein, the government of the United Arab Emirates through His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid AI Maktoum has directed the payment of April salary to workers by Monday, 17th April 2023.

A statement from Dubai said the Prime Minister and the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid AI Maktoum, gave the payment directive to enable family heads to fulfill their obligations and provide all the requirements of the Eid El-Fitr holiday, to their family members.


Those desirous of air travel to any destination be it local, regional, or international, should maintain very close communication with the airlines. They should be twice careful so as not to be stranded but to have plan B for their scheduled trip in any form it may take.

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