Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) Withdraw From Strike
Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) that manage the nation’s airspace have declared withdrawal from the planned strike to paralyse the nation’s economy in protest against the refusal of the federal government to pay workers N30,000 minimum wage.
The President of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA), Mr. Eyaru Victor said ATC won’t be part of the indefinite industrial action proposed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in order not to paralyse the nation’s airspace.
The industrial action is slated to begin today due to government’s failure to meet the labour union’s demand for a new national minimum wage.
The Association says it reached the decision after consultation with other Unions adding that the decision was to avoid disruption of its international conference due to begin Tuesday.
Speaking at the 29th edition of International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (IFATCA) in Abuja with the theme; ‘Seamless Friendly Sky’, Victor said: “We are not part of the strike because we have discussed with our mother union which is Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).
“We are working out a way because of the International conference in order not to disturb flight operations especially for our international delegates.”
The Association however decried the obsolete condition of most of the air traffic control infrastructure in Nigeria.
Victor also attributed the inability of most domestic airports to operate at night to the unavailability of runway lights and other night, equipment.
On how to address the infrastructural challenges in the air transport and ensure friendly sky, NATCA President said: “CPDS and infrastructure that will make the air space safe are needed and this is an opportunity to make request because if we keep quiet, the government will not look at us.
“This is an opportunity to bring the issue to the fore and to sensitize the government on the need for the infrastructure like the CPDS, ADSB, the radar; they are obsolete and need to be replaced.
After this meeting, we will deliberate and come up with a communique to inform the government that the infrastructure needs to be replaced. If it is replaced, the air space would be safe, the flying public would be safe and all of us will benefit.
“To ensure safe sky, the infrastructure has to be developed. If we have infrastructure, then we can develop.”