The Federal Government on Tuesday intervened in the brewing controversy following the sack of over 70 pilots by the Air Peace Management last week.
TheNewsGuru.com, TNG reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had also earlier urged the management of Turkish Air, Air Peace and Bristow Helicopters to reinstate all the sacked workers within two weeks.
According to reports, the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika had earlier called an intervention meeting between the airline’s management and the leadership of the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers. Both parties were said to have settled their grievances with Air Peace pledging to recall some of the sacked pilots.
The spokesperson of the Federal Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu, confirmed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said a verbal agreement was reached as the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, acceded to the minister’s appeal for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline could accommodate without going under.
The statement, titled ‘Air Peace to recall some sacked pilots as Sirika intervenes’ said the pilot’s association, led by its Chairman, Galadima Abednego, agreed that some missteps could have been made in the course of the standoff between the airline and the union.
It said the association appealed to the minister to intervene in order to resolve the impasse.
Abednego stated that as a union, it was a painful thing to see a large number of their members thrown into the labour market as he appealed to employers of labour to see the union members as partners and not adversaries.
On his part, Onyema expressed his sadness and disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots despite everything 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.
The Air Peace boss, however, commended Sirika for providing the required leadership to the industry and promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in Nigeria.
Sirika, in his remark, called for the understanding of everyone, especially the labour unions as regards the prevailing situation in the aviation industry.
He said it was not time for unnecessary upheavals.
He commended Onyema for his contributions in developing the industry.
“The minister appealed to him to recall the maximum number of the sacked pilots that the airline can comfortably accommodate in the prevailing circumstances to which the airline operator agreed,” the statement added.
Sirika called on all stakeholders in the aviation industry to put all hands on deck in ensuring a rapid recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.