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IRS Airlines owes 9 months' salaries

By The Citizen
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IRS Airlines, one of the domestic airlines operating in the country, is alleged to owe its workers nine months salaries.

According to a source, the airline has been having problems with its finances, a development that has affected its ability to pay workers.

Already, workers, through the aviation unions, are gearing up for a showdown with the airline management as they are demanding that the company pay the accumulated salaries and improve their working conditions.

The unions have accused the airline management of violating safety laws of the aviation industry.

Led by the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), the workers vowed to protect their interest by disrupting the airline's activities if the management failed to act fast.

A worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, lamented that the situation had become critical, warning that if nothing was done, flight safety, which the Federal Government had been preaching since Dana crash of last year, could be impaired.

NAAPE President, Comrade Isaac Balami, who said he was aware of the situation at IRS, said the union would reach out to the management of the airline to resolve the matter.

In his response to the crisis, the Managing Director of IRS Airlines, Mr Yemi Dada, agreed that there were outstanding salaries that needed to be cleared. He said the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was aware of the issues, adding that his firm had been holding meetings with NCAA officials on how offset the debt.

'I am not saying we are not owing. I am saying that we have various levels of outstanding staff salaries and that NCAA is aware of this. We are meeting these responsibilities at various levels. There are some debts that are below N50,000 and there are some that are less than N100,000 which we are taking care of. There are others with huge salaries, the cockpit crew and engineers and we have agreed to resolve them,' he said. The Nation