The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has promised to bridge the gaps between pilots, engineers and airlines operators with the aim of promoting harmonious relationship between them.
Mr Abednego Galadima, the President of NAAPE, made the pledge in a statement issued in Lagos on Monday.
Galadima explained that NAAPE as the umbrella body of pilots and engineers in the industry was working assiduously with airline operators to ensure the return of some of its members placed on ‘leave without pay’ by their employers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Employers, employees relationship has been very critical in this pandemic. So, NAAPE is providing a platform where employers and employees will discuss how best they can work together in a harmonious relationship in the industry.
“Knowing what the pandemic has caused us particularly in the aviation sector, we believe it is time for all hands to be on deck so that both employers and employees will emerge stronger after this pandemic.
“We have always intervened and always stood by our members particularly those that were stopped recently due to the pandemic.
“We make sure that the law is followed and their dues given to them. Also, we have asked the government to support the industry so that more people will not lose jobs,” he said.
Galadima said at least 80 major aviation stakeholders and professionals in Nigeria would participate physically at the forthcoming symposium of the association scheduled to hold in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
He said that the one-day symposium with the theme: ‘Labour Relations in a Pandemic: Challenges to Employers and Employees,’ holds on Friday.
Galadima noted that Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) would lead other agencies’ heads as special guests.
He stressed that the reduction in the number of physical participants was due to the Covid-19 pandemic and strict adherence to its protocols.
Galadima agreed that the pandemic, which caught the sector unawares, had negatively affected its members, however expressed optimism that the symposium would bring more harmony between employers and employees in the pandemic era.
The association’s president lauded the Federal Government for the recent palliative released to business organisations in the industry, however appealed for increased interventions from the government for the sector in order to make it stronger.
“We hope that it will improve the airlines a bit. Even though, we know few people are still at home. We want to see how they can be brought back into the system.’’
Galadima expressed optimism that some of its members who had yet to be recalled by their employers would be reintegrated into the system, stressing that NAAPE was already discussing with their employers.
He added: “Some of the airlines have been able to recall some of the staff at home. As we talk now, most of them have moved back to the pre-COVID-19 salaries for our member.
“In December 2020, most of the companies returned to pre-Covid-19 salaries for pilots and engineers.
“It is a step in the right direction. We believe government can still do more, but with what we are witnessing, the airlines will bounce back better. The capacity is increasing gradually. Things will come to normal very soon.” (NAN)