17 March 2017

Nigeria: Aero Sacks 1000 Workers 'Temporarily'

Lagos — 60 per cent of workforce of the distressed Aero Contractors may have been shown the way out following dwindling operations by the airline which is the oldest in the country.

The workers who are over 1000 according to Daily Trust findings were issued letters of redundancy this week in a step to reduce operational cost.

It would be recalled that the airline established in 1959, resumed operations in December 21 2016 after about four months of self-imposed closure to enable its reposition.

However, the airline resumed operations 10 days to the New Year flying to four locations including Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Warri, Delta State using its Boeing 737-400/500 and the Dash8-Q400. Over 10 of its aircraft are currently grounded at the airport.

The airline said in a statement yesterday that it had been grappling with huge and unrealistic personnel cost as well as other operational challenges worsened by lack of enough aircraft to keep all the workers meaningfully engaged.

According to it, the issuance of redundancy letter "is a business decision that will ensure Aero's survival". The airline said it had communicated the decision to the unions.

However, General Secretary of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Olayinka Abioye told Daily Trust he is not aware of the development, saying there would be crisis because there are principles to be met in declaring any worker redundant.

The airline however said its new CEO, Capt. Ado Sanusi, and his management team "have also ensured that the affected workers will be able to access their full gratuity as well as a part of their pension just to immediately cushion the effect of the development".

"They also stand a chance of being recalled as soon as Aero increases the number of aircraft in its fleet in the near future", it said.

The statement however clarified that those in Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and other essential staff in critical departments will not be affected by the development.

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