NAMA staff resume duty - Official

By The Citizen

The staff of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) who were on a one-day strike on Monday have resumed full operation.

The NAMA spokesman, Mr Supo Atobatele, told reporters in a telephone interview on Tuesday that the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) had called off the strike on Monday.

The unions had urged their members to embark on the strike on May 20 over a dispute with the NAMA on issues bordering on staff welfare.

Atobatele said that the decision of the unions to call off the strike followed meetings they held in Abuja on May 20 with top government representatives, led by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu.

He said that the air traffic controllers and other junior staff who failed to resume work on Monday due to the late directives from the union were back at work in their offices.

'Both the air traffic controller and everybody are back at work today, there is no problem,'' he said.

The correspondent who visited the airport early on Tuesday reports that some international and domestic flights were landing and flying out of the airport.

Some of the airport users and a passenger who spoke to NAN in a mixed reaction said that they appreciated the calling off of the strike by the unions.

A passenger, Mr Alex Ejiro said: 'It is not encouraging for staff of an organisation such as NAMA to go on strike, it is scary but we thank God that the staff did not allow the strike to go on for too long.''

Mrs Alice Agata, who owns a shop at the airport, said that the strike would have affected business activities, especially for her if it was not called off.

'I was concerned, when I heard that the aviation people wanted to go on strike but I am glad when they decided to call it off again.

'This is because the strike will affect my business, I sell drinks and snacks at the international wing,'' she said.

Miss Doris Obande, an air hostess said that the strike would have affected airline operators more as there would only be very few traffic controllers on ground to guide the pilots.

'It is good that the NAMA staff have resumed work today but the management too should address the issues,'' she said.

Mr Saidu Abdulrasak, a union member called on NAMA to urgently implement the new salary structure already approved by the Federal Government for the workers.

'Nobody is interested in strike because it slows down business but due processes should be followed and we are looking forward to that,'' he said.

NAN recalls that Mr Joe Obi, the Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah had said in a statement that the parties involved had agreed that the issue of determination of the basic salary and other allowances for the staff of NAMA would be taken up by a committee.

He said that the committee would be headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, which was expected to deliberate and conclude its works within a reasonable time.

Others in the committee include Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Chairman, National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission. (NAN)