After the intervention of the Federal Government, Air Peace has revealed that it will not be recalling all the pilots it sacked in the first week of August 2020 as it will snub some pilots in favour of others according to the director, public affairs for the ministry of aviation, James Odaudu.
AllNews gathered that airline company only agreed to recall some of the over 70 sacked pilots in order not to place a financial burden on the company. This is despite the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) dropping its planned strike in the Aviation industry.
NAAPE had threatened to withdraw its pilots and engineers following series of dismissal by Bristow Helicopters and Air Peace. But the Federal Government intervened in the faceoff between the union and the airline companies. This led to NAAPE cancelling its strike after promises by the airlines to revert the sack of pilots.
However, not all the pilots will benefit from the intervention of the government as Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, said he was disappointed at the attitude of the sacked pilots at a period the company needed their understanding. He said the company had helped trained about 80 pilots and some engineers.
Onyema also stated that Air Peace ensures that the airline's pilots get some of the best remuneration in the aviation industry, yet they couldn't consider this during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has on Air Peace. He, however, said Air Peace can afford to recall some pilots.
In a statement by Odaudu after the meeting between Onyema and the government, he said, “In the verbal agreement reached after a dialogue that was held in a very friendly environment, Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, acceded to the Minister’s appeal for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline can accommodate without going under." He said.
Onyema "expressed his sadness and disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots after everything is done to make them comfortable on their jobs." He recalled "how Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots and an equal number of aircraft engineers, giving its staff the best remuneration package within the sector only for them to disappoint at a time their understanding was needed.
“He, however, commended Senator Hadi Sirika for providing the required leadership to the industry and promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in Nigeria." The Cable reported.
The chairman of NAAPE, Galadima Abednego, said Sirika should assist in resolving the deadlock in the ongoing disagreement between the airline and the pilots and engineer union. According to Abednego, some missteps could have occurred during the confrontation between both parties.
“In their presentation, NAAPE, led by its chairman, Galadima Abednego, said that some missteps could have been made in the course of the standoff between the airline and the union and appealed to the Minister to intervene in order to resolve the impasse.
“He said that as a union it was a painful thing to see a large number of their members thrown into the labour market, and further appealed to employers of labour to see the union members as partners, and not adversaries," Odaudu revealed.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Aviation said this is not the period for disorder in the Aviation industry which had been on lockdown for about four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures adopted by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The aviation industry and airlines had been without revenue for months following the lockdown and had just resumed in July when the faceoff between Bristow Helicopters, Air Peace and the union began. The industry according to Sirika, was losing about N20 billion monthly during the lockdown.
While paraphrasing Sirika, Odaudu said, “The Aviation Minister in his remarks called for the understanding of everyone, especially the Labour unions, of the prevailing situation in the aviation industry, saying it was not the time for unnecessary upheavals.
“He commended Chief Onyema for his enormous contributions in developing the industry but appealed to him to recall the maximum number of the sacked pilots that the airline can comfortably accommodate in the prevailing circumstances to which airline operator agreed."