As the ultimatum to withdraw services given the federal government by the aviation workers under the aegis of the National Union of Air Transport Employees and Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals expires today, moves are currently on to avert the strike.

To stop the impending strike which could ground air travel nationwide, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has been hosting meetings.

One of such meetings had in attendance, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and other relevant top government officials.

He noted that the aviation workers gave the necessary warning to his ministry, but they resolved that their parent ministry should first engage with them.

Ngige said, “I am happy that the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Aviation reported that they did so with you, but there are two major areas that they couldn’t reach agreement with you and therefore, you had to escalate the matter by issuing an ultimatum to close the entire air space.

“I can see that all of you are here, both the air traffic controllers and engineers.  We thought there might be some openings in the air space, but I can see that all of you are united.

“I can assure you that we are going to reach agreements here and some of the agreements will be reached with the speed of a flash and we will get back to them.”

Ngige, however, drew attention to a reconciliation agreement earlier done by NUATE with officials of his ministry, in which they agreed on March 31 as the timeline for the consummation, wondering why such an agreement existed.

Also speaking, Sirika said the agitation for the rights and privileges of workers was lawful and acceptable, adding that the government takes the issue of labour very seriously.

Speaking on behalf of the aviation unions, the National President, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Ahmadu Ilitrus, called for urgent measures to address their demands.

He lamented that since 2019 when the Minimum Wage Bill was signed, no worker from the aviation ministry had been paid.

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