Air Peace has rescinded its recent decision to sack over 70 pilots following the intervention of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
The pilots had lost their jobs last week following disagreement with the management of the airline over a pay cut they considered ‘wicked and ‘insensitive’.
The decision to recall many of the pilots was a fall-out of an intervention meeting called by Sirika between the airline’s management and the leadership of the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), which held in his office on Tuesday.
Director of Media for the Ministry of Aviation, Dr. James Odaudu in a statement Tuesday said in the verbal agreement reached after a dialogue that was held in a very friendly environment.
Chairman of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema acceded to the Minister’s appeal for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline can accommodate without going under.
In their presentation, NAAPE, led by its Chairman, Galadima Abednego, said that some missteps could have been made in the course of the standoff between the airline and the union and appealed to the Minister to intervene in order to resolve the impasse.
He said that as a union it was a painful thing to see a large number of their members thrown into the labour market, and further appealed to employers of labour to see the union members as partners, and not adversaries.
On his part, Chief Onyema expressed his sadness and disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots, after everything done to make them comfortable on their jobs.
He recalled how Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots and an equal number of aircraft engineers, giving its staff the best remuneration package within the sector only for them to disappoint at a time their understanding was needed.
Onyema, however, commended Senator Sirika for providing the required leadership to the industry and promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in Nigeria.
The Aviation Minister in his remarks called for the understanding of everyone, especially the labour unions, of the prevailing situation in the aviation industry, saying it was not the time for unnecessary upheavals.
He commended Onyema for his enormous contributions in developing the industry, but appealed to him to recall the maximum number of the sacked pilots that the airline can comfortably accommodate in the prevailing circumstances to which the airline operator agreed to.