Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Unpaid Salaries:NLC Grounds Bristow Helicopters

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliate, the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) grounded activities at Bristow helicopters in Lagos, barricading all entrances into the company premises after breakdown of negotiations over payment of salaries.

NAAPE resolved to completely withdraw all services rendered to Bristow indefinitely from Monday, August 3rd, 2020 over the renewal of pilots and engineers Condition of service (COS) and other issues after further break down of negotiations.

The association had on July 15 embarked on a three-day warning strike at Bristow over the same issues but the action did not produce the expected response from the management.  Following a break down of negotiations, the association wrote a letter informing all its members in Bristow about the planned strike. The letter was signed by the Deputy National Secretary, Umoh Ofonime with Ref NS/GS/NAAPE/vol.051/2020 dated July 29, 2020.

NAAPE said some of the issues under contention were the management’s proposal to suspend the COS negotiations and their subversion of established terms of agreement with it.

It said Bristow insists on benchmarking salaries of national pilots and engineers to the rate of NGN345/$1 and implementing NGN355/$1- a rate which the association said is not obtainable on any legal foreign exchange window in the world while still paying expatriate foreigners their full remuneration in USD is a contentious issue.

According to NAAPE, it has consistently engaged Bristow management for amelioration of these issues to no avail.

Speaking on the infractions by the company,  NAAPE Public Relations Officers, Frank Igwe described the picketing as a last resort saying the union has done all it could to bring  their attention to the pains of their members but management remained adamant.

Mr. Igwe listed their demands including restart of the suspended  CoS negotiations, fulfilling the promise of employing Nigerians as young cadet and trainee engineers, adjusting national engineers’ progression in tandem with expatriate nationals and global aviation standards among others.

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