Strike: NAAPE, Bristow Helicopters meeting ends in deadlock

Posted by Adekunle Williams and Solomon Asowata | 2 February 2018 | 1,915 times

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Bristow Helicopters (Nigeria) Limited on Friday failed to reach an agreement with the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) to end an indefinite strike embarked upon by the union.

The General Secretary of NAAPE, Mr Aba Ocheme, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Ocheme said both parties could not reach any conclusion on the issues in contention, especially those affecting the welfare of the airline’s Nigerian employees.

He said that the meeting had been extended till Saturday, adding that the strike would continue until the issues are resolved.

Ocheme also confirmed that the management of Caverton Helicopters, another airline also picketed by the union, had scheduled a meeting for Wednesday to resolve all pending issues.

NAN reports that NAAPE had on Thursday shut down the operations of Bristow and Caverton Helicopters, at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

The union also ordered its members in both airlines to withdraw their services indefinitely until all the pending issues involving their welfare are resolved.

NAAPE said its affiliate, the United Labour Congress (ULC), had also directed that aviation fuel would not be supplied to the Bristow Group during the period, in solidarity with the workers.

The workers, who were led by the NAAPE President, Mr Abednego Galadima, and the General Secretary of ULC, Mr Didi Adodo, barricaded the premises of both airlines at about 7 a.m.

They carried placards with various inscriptions such as “We say no to forced labour’’, “Racism in Bristow must stop” and “Stop abusing and violating our rights and privileges’’.

However, the management of Bristow Helicopters has refuted the allegations of discrimination against their Nigerian pilots and engineers, and breaching of the country’s expatriate quota.

Bristow, in a statement signed by its media consultant, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, described the union’s directive to the workers to withdraw their services without due notification to the airline as a violation of the relevant labour laws. (NAN)

Source: News Express

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