Arik Air operations were on Thursday grounded by the National Union of Air Transport Employees over poor working conditions.
The workers blocked the entrance of the airline’s headquarters, carrying placards with different inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions read, “End Arik brutality,” and “Sign our condition of service and recall all staff.”
They alleged that several members of staff had been furloughed, adding that pensions were being owed.
State Secretary, NUATE, Ijeh Anthony, explained that the issue had lingered for long, vowing to continue the strike till all demands were met.
He said, “The contentious issue is the signing of the conditions of service which we have been negotiating for the past three years.
“But the only aspect remaining in the CoS is the issue of the severance package. We have sought interventions from the Ministry of Aviation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
“However in most discussions, Arik Air Management will always renege.”
Anthony stressed that the management decision to operate with lesser staff was also part of the reasons for the strike.
He said, “At the beginning of the lockdown, Arik Air management decided to send 80 per cent of their workforce on compulsory leave and in the process of engagement, they agreed to pay 20 per cent of their salaries for all those workers involved.”
He added, “All other airlines have called their workers back post COVID-19 but Arik Air workers have decided to run on 20 per cent while 80 per cent are still at home.
“The pressure now is that workers at home are now agitating. The flight frequencies have increased, we have higher fares and we are opening new routes, so why are you keeping us at home?
Workers of Aviance Ghana are threatening to go on strike next month after being forced to continuously overwork while taking home half salary since the lockdown period from March till date.
Eight months ago when the airport was shut down for passenger planes as a precautionary measure to curb the importation of the Coronavirus disease, workers of the company that operates at the Kotoko International Airport witnessed a pay cut with some unlucky ones laid off without any allowance.
While those who stayed on accepted the pay cut because of the situation the Covid-19 had caused, they are now feeling agitated the conditions have not reverted to normal in a period where passenger and cargo aircrafts are now flying in every day.
According to sources, there have been no increase in salary for workers in the past 2 years and staff who stayed on during the lockdown didn’t benefit from any incentive.
At the moment, there is an increase in staff reporting sick due to the fact that they are overworking beyond their normal working hours. To their surprise, managers and department head show no concern.
Meanwhile, concerns have also been raised in the way and manner employments are being made. Per information gathered, a recruiting agency working with the firm is scamming and taking huge sums of money from persons looking for employment. In the end, vulnerable ladies are cornered and slept with before given jobs.
Workers say that if no action is taken then they will embark on sit-down strike in December.
Below is the full concerns raised by some of the workers under very tight conditions of anonymity:
HAPPENINGS AT AVIANCE GHANA
Aviance Ghana used to recruit directly by following the HRM procedures until 2016. When the company started recruiting through some recruitment agencies s that collect huge sums of money from applicants after even going through some 3months training with not less than GHC 2000.00 as fees. This is serious 419 way of collecting moneys from the general public since getting job now is to difficult. As we speak now over thousand applicants are been deceived of employment after going through all processes.
Under same recruitment those employed through these agencies also went through some difficulties, Managers collected monies from some of the applicants before scheduling them for interview, some of the females also had their jobs in exchange of sex especially those recruited from RAKES agency. Most of the Aircraft cleaners and loaders are victims.
APPEARANCE aircraft cleaners
MD you can recall that in our first episode I made mention of some managers taking moneys and sleeping with some of the girls before employing them. And their agreement was they were promised heaven but after they were employed they saw it was all lies. This was perpetrated by Nana Asore, Eben Adhei and Mr. Eben Darko. As we reach you we have talk to them to hold on until we communicate to you otherwise they wanted to appear on a Radio Station who show case such incident and also tries to help them legally but we have calmed them down for your action. (for both casual /permanent)
There are big problems in this department. We are now convinced that when the woman was heading as a manager we saw the successes but now its too bad. Ernest could not handle the office or department because he was not fair and firm. We were not surprised when we heard you have entrusted the heart of the company into the hands of Mr. Eben Darko, who has no respect for staff no matter your age or your issue. He watched, hunted for this position with the support of your secretary who is going out with Mr. Eben Darko and tried to influence you and Addy to do the perported swap very bad. Go round and solicit for views and it will interest you of what you will hear in your ears. The operations guys are all not happy with him because, he doesn’t respect them at all.
A staff was admitted at 37 military hospital, where COVID suspected cases were handled this was reported to your managers whilst you were in UK due to the airport closure but managers never made even a phone call to either, the staff or the family, and mark this is our way of culture. A staff fell ill seriously ill on duty when Eben Darko was called at home it took him over 4 hours and the staff has to chance under the support of colleagues and friends ask the operations guys.
There is a power war managers don’t trust themselves and their all pretending of working / managing well. Watch this man very well Mr. Ben Johnson. He is a waste in the company he is agitating the workers by bullying staff on the field. How can you meet a group with mixed tribal relation and begin to speak in his language with his tribal affiliations. Very bad. Ramp manager comes to work not to manage the ramp but rather engage the staff with frightening information, He issued a notice that workers should not discus, ask anything concerning staff welfare even busing issue and that when you fall victim He the ramp manager will fire you.
Please, MD we noticed Mr. Twentoh was on the truck but now it seems he is also loosing truck and focus. Before Mr. Twentoh the then HR was given positions to staffs based and your affiliation with him. This made staff losing interest in attending interviews for position or promotion for instance upon what criteria did those who selected our ramp supervisor and the RDMs on probation. This was done by Nana Asore and with the support of Eben Adjei.
Due to this ramp staff are calling these guys names like RM babies. Some qualify but some too are nowhere to write home about. Some even insult staff at briefings and on the field especially one called Richie acting ADM.
HR kindly sit up because the eyes that watched Mr. Ntiamoah is also watching YOU.
The General manager Addy also calls for meetings with his manager and quote “what I have told you is final and nothing else” says Addy. managers are complaining. Mr. Addy is now been racist. Same to James Chambel and as for him James he also a waste to the company.
Please we were promised a salary structure but now both MD and HR are running away from the truth to the extent that because our union the order of the day that anytime will refer staff to union just because they know the weakness of the union both junior and senior God is watching you all.
Salary was slashed to 50% since March, 2020. Which was understood because normal passenger planes were not coming, but only cargo planes and chartered flight for UN officials? But now at the airport all planes are coming and staff strength was reduced just to save cost during the lockdown the contract staffs were laid off without any allowance. Now that all planes are coming still same reduced staff strength, same 50% salary, we are working more than the required hours, No overtime allowance. There is increase in staff reporting sick DUE TO OVER USE OF STAFFS. THERE WAS NOTHING FOR STAFFS DURING THE LOCKDOWN, NO SALARY INCREMENT SINCE 2YEARS.
IF no action is taken then staffs are ready and preparing to embark on sit-down strike within DECEMBER.
In response to HIAL’s determination to force through its restructuring plans Prospect Union members within HIAL have voted by 71 per cent to support future strike action over the issue. A union worker:
“I think that HIAL and the SNP are seriously underestimating the support that Air Traffic Control staff will receive from their communities.”
The Greek Air Traffic Controllers Association (EEEKE) and the Union of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Mechanics (ENHMAEK) will be staging job walkouts on November 25 and a natiowide strike on November 26, they announced on Friday in a joint statement. Both unions are protesting the restructuring of the country’s Civil Aviation Authority under new legislation, and delayed salary payments.
Around 200 taxi drivers at T2 of Mumbai airport went on a flash strike over a change of payment methods. Management want to re-introduce that drivers are not pre-paid their fare at the central counter, but that customers pay the drivers directly. Management claims that due to Covid they don’t want to deal with cash payments at the airport itself.
This happened less than three months ago. The cleaners demanded full-time contracts from the outsourced cleaning company Valoriza Facilities. They coincided their strike with the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, when a lot of international visitors hit town. This gave their strike additional leverage. Well done!
It was the night before lockdown and all through the house many people were stirring, because they might lose their house Teachers were waiting in the school for kids, is it fair? Because they’re still going to school Because Boris don’t care? All the prats dreamed of bog roll, pasta and rice While unemployed paid the ultimate price People seeking jobs, overworked, underpaid We are really pawns in their very cruel game Ask yourself this, what does profit matter If we can all eat but don’t need a gourmet platter Then we all realized as everyday folk That Boris isn’t behind us, we cant trust this bloke We have the power to band together Neither rich nor poor through the stormy mad weather. By Paul Tinklin
The Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra threatened KLM pilots that if they don’t accept a permanent and significant pay cut there will be no financial aid for KLM from the government. He cites that other KLM workers have already accepted wage cuts. KLM pilots threatened with strike in response. Bosses and state want to use the crisis to attack our conditions – we need a united resistance.
Around 100 workers went on strike on 3rd of November to demand the payment of outstanding wages – in total around 5,000 airline workers haven’t been paid. Flights were cancelled. The company had promised to pay on 16th of October, but failed to do so.