Arik Air Staff Jittery Over Looming Mass Sack

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Palpable fears have gripped many staff of Arik Air recently taken over by Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) now at the verge of collecting their sack letters from the new management.

Our correspondent learnt that this development is coming on the heel of the of issuance of letters of redundancy to 60 percent of the workforce of Aerocontractors on March 16, this year without any recourse to the aviation in-house unions, barely one year after its takeover by AMCON.

When Leadership Newspaper visited the Headquarters of the Airline in Lagos on Thursday some of the staff were seen discussing the impending sack in hushed voices.

The fear of sack according to reliable sources became apparent considering the fact that the former management of the airline had persistently rebuffed overtures by Air Traffic Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and National Union of Air Transport Employers (NUATE) to unionize staff of Arik Air in the past.

Their fears was also heightened by the fact that Aerocontractors that is unionized have already sacked 60 percent of its workforce.

The Aviation in-house unions including NAAPE, ATSSSAN and NUATE have threatened to reject in all ramifications any letter of redundancy that will be issued by the present management of Arik Air.

According to the in-house unions, since the takeover of of Aerocontractors by AMCON last year due to its indebtedness and inability to pay staff salaries, there has been intermittent suspension of services/staff and frequent change of helmsmen that did not yield any fruitful result.

Comrade Olayinka Abisoye Secretary General NUATE posited that if the new management of Arik Air insists on sacking the staff then all their entitlements as well as outstanding salaries must be paid.

Recalled that on February 9 this year AMCON took over operations of Arik Air due to a huge debt profile of N300billion adding that the takeover will not lead to any job loss.

The Managing Director of AMCON Mr. Ahmed Kuru had immediately after the takeover said that the action was to save the airline from closing shop adding that the airline requires N10billion to be injected into its operations so as to enable it stay afloat.

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