Overland airways one of the two commercial flight operators at the Ilorin international airport was delayed for about two hours following the indefinite strike embarked upon by aviation unions.
The morning schedule of the airline scheduled for 8:30am landed around 10:30am as a result of the industrial action as confirmed by incredible sources who pleaded anonymity.
The industrial action began 5:00am yesterday, according to the unions in a notice issued on Tuesday, saying the action followed the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum earlier issued to the Federal Ministry of Transportation (Aviation) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
It was reported that the unions had threatened to shut down the sector over the present management structure of the NCAA which they argued stifles career progression.
The notice of strike came a few days after the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, appealed to the unions to embrace dialogue on the issue rather than shutting down the sector, saying the organogram could be “tweaked”.
The unions include the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the National Association of Air Transport Pilots and Employees (NAAPE).
In the notice signed by the General Secretary, NUATE, Com. Ocheme Aba; Deputy General Secretary, ATSSSAN, Comrade Frances Akinjole; Secretary General ANAP, Comrade Abdulrazaq Saidu; Deputy General Secretary, NAAPE, Comrade Umoh Ofonime; the unions said the Ministry had failed to address any of its demands.
They said the Ministry and the NCAA only reacted to its ultimatum which elapsed on Monday with “only half-hearted measures”.
“Having therefore exhausted all efforts and patience on the issues, we are left with no other option. Our unions hereby direct all staff of NCAA nationwide to commence an indefinite industrial action with effect from 0500hrs on Wednesday 22nd May, 2019”, the statement said.
The notice said the situation “will remain” until the demands of the unions are met.
The unions also directed all NCAA workers to assemble at the entrance/gate of the various work places and take directive from branch union officers on location until directed otherwise.