Contrary to the assertions in the media, which suggests that the Aero Contractors has neglected its responsibility to settle outstanding redundancy benefits, the airline says it “has diligently worked to address and resolve the issue.”

Infinity Tyres

According to a statement made available to Transport Day, the company says “Aero Contractors acknowledges with concern the report attributed to National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) officials, protesting the failure of the company to pay off some of its workers who have been separated from the company for seven years, March 2017.

“Management is indeed disappointed and surprised with the NAAPE that having called for a meeting regarding payment of outstanding benefits to a number of former employees, they decided to go public through the media before the meeting.”

The company said “A few clarifications need to be made to put things in context and clarify issues. The company has successfully disbursed redundancy payments to at least 95% of affected staff. Admittedly, we still have outstanding financial commitment to a few affected staff.

“However, plans are under way to defray these and we have been engaging with affected staff to carry them along in all the company has been doing and going through.

“For the avoidance of doubt out of a total number of 237 staff affected by the redundancy, 225 have been paid off representing 94.94% of those affected.

“Nonetheless, we still have a total of 12 outstanding staff that are yet to be paid. This represents about 5.06% of the original population. Of this number 3 are ATSSSAN members and 9 belong to NAAPE. Efforts are being made in the near future to pay the outstanding to the staff.

“Aero Management empathizes with the discomfort and strain this experience has put on the affected individuals as well as the whole company. We ask for more understanding as we work towards resolving all outstanding issues.”

Aero Contractors added that “it is important to situate the whole experience within the operational context that Aero Contractors in particular and the industry in general has had to operate over the period in question.

“The operating environment within the aviation industry has been overwhelmingly challenging, with the company enduring significant challenges including two instances of cessation of operations for extended periods. The first was in August 31, 2016 to late December 2016 and the second was in July 20th, 2022 to December 4th, 2022. After about a 5 months shut down we have assiduously worked on defraying outstanding payments and commitments, not only to affected personnel but to ensure the viability of operations and to continue as a going concern.

“This is in spite of additional challenges posed by escalating cost of operations, particularly the substantial cost the fuel component of our operational costs which has severely constrained our finances and affecting allocations to various expense headings, including terminal benefits owed to former employees.”