The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) have kicked against the sack of an aircraft engineer (names withheld) without pay by the management of OAS Helicopters.

The two bodies accused the management of the helicopter company of “unjust sack” of the staff who had been with the company since it was established almost a decade ago.

The unions have also petitioned the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the management of the OAS, requesting that the former staff be reinstated, while his disengagement is discussed.

More details: The President of NAAPE, Engr. Abednego Galadima, confirmed the development in a telephone interview with Nairametrics.

According to Galadima, the management of OAS accused the engineer of incompetence and sacked him without pay, despite owing him salary arrears spanning up to six months.

He insisted that the union would ensure justice was done for the sacked staff, wondering why a technical staff like an engineer would be owed six months’ salaries yet was engaged by the company during the period. He said:

  • “NLC and NAAPE have reported the matter to the NCAA. The member in question worked for six months without pay and only for the airline to bring a letter of the sack. This happened in OAS Helicopters. The staff was sacked about six months ago and we are currently on it. NLC has written to the airline and we are taking it up. This is a labour issue.
  • “We are just waiting for NLC to take the necessary action very soon. We feel that that treatment is unjust and very unfair. We think no staff should be used and dumped by any employer.”

Galadima further alleged that some of the airline companies in the industry engage in “slavery bonds,” in order to keep their staff perpetually with them permanently.

Advice for unions: He urged the union members to always involve them whenever they are signing a condition of service with their employers, arguing that through this, the right of the workers would be protected better.

Galadima, however, said that the unions are partners of companies in the sector and appealed to them not to see the unions as antagonists, but as professionals who want progress for the entire industry.