The deadly COVID-19 pandemic and its destruction to businesses particularly the aviation industry globally has continued to take a toll on Nigeria’s aviation sector as Air Peace pilots have embarked on a strike action over what they termed’ irrational pay cut’.
A pilot of the airline, who spoke to New Telegraph on condition of anonymity, said the management of the airline through its Human Resources approved an average of 80 per cent pay cut across its pilot rankings.
The source further stated that as a result of the decision, the pilot community decided to down tools until further notice pending when the management can come to a mutual agreement.
A senior pilot, who also spoke to our correspondent, lamented the poor treatment pilots are subjected to, stressing that the management and the pilots were still meeting to resolve the problem.
His words: “It is true that the pilots went on strike to protest poor treatment by the airline. They may call off the strike as management is meeting with the pilots body He stated that the strike which started on Tuesday may be called off if the management shift its position and come to a mutual agreement.”
It was not confirmed as at press time if the cabin crew and other staff were affected, but it was alleged that the management threatened to close down the airline as the pilots opposed the new remuneration terms.
As at press time, the management nor the spokesman for the airline were yet to respond to enquiries from our correspondent
The vicissitudes that greeted the aviation industry in the wake of the pandemic is one that the industry has never experienced. As many industry experts have put it, it is one that has hit even harder than the events of ‘9/11’ and the 2008 global financial crises combined.
It would be recalled that many airlines had in the face of COVID-19 furloughed pilots and other essential airline workers.
Arik Air right sized and implemented an 80 per cent salary cut for its personnel for the month of April.
The airline also ordered 90% of its 1,800 staff to proceed on leave without pay until further notice.
The staff of most of the local airlines in Nigeria are going through bad times; some of them have even described the months as Black July.