Unions in the aviation industry have called on the various agency managements to prioritise the provision of sanitary apparels, consumables like facial masks, hand sanitizers, hand gloves and protective clothing to its frontline workers who interface with passengers, even at the local airports and with customers (internal and external) in their offices and at their duty posts.
The unions, comprising National Union of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), have commended Federal Government’s decision to suspend all international flights into the country.
A statement by Deputy General Secretary, ATSSSAN, Frances Akinjole; Deputy General Secretary, NAAPE, Umoh Ofonime as well as General Secretary ANAP, Abdul Rasaq Saidu and General Secretary, NUATE, Ocheme Aba, agreed that the workers are some of the most exposed to these hazards, hence this call.
“Having painstakingly monitored developments around the Corona Virus (COVID-19) global pandemic, it is saddening that the air transport workers are one of the most exposed set of people in Nigeria. This condition has reduced our members to endangered species in their various workplaces.
“Furthermore, we want to use this medium to commend the managements in the aviation industry, who have put the safety of their workers above all other considerations by allowing some categories of workers to work from the isolation of their homes in the meantime in the interest of health and safety. We encourage those who are yet to take that initiative to look into it in good time.
“Though, our international airports’ activities have been restricted, it is an uncomfortable fact that Covid-19 is already in our midst in the country. It is, therefore, our demand that a proper measure be put in place to provide insurance cover for our members in the event of fatal consequence from Covid-19 in their line of duties.
“While we understand the economic implications of this menace on our dear country, we do sincerely empathize with every stakeholder in the aviation sector in particular. Being veritable social partners in this industry, our unions remain very open to progressive dialogue with every concerned stakeholder in a bid to collectively sustain hope and confidence in our people.