The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has stated that it would withdraw completely all services rendered to Bristow Helicopters indefinitely from 00hours August 3rd, 2020 over the rotary wing’s decision to suspend negotiations of pilots and engineers Condition of Service (CoS) and other sundry matters in the company.
The resolve to commence an indefinite strike followed the breakdown of negotiations between the two parties.
Recalled that NAAPE on July 15, 2020, had embarked on a three-day warning strike at Bristow Helicopters and was extended to seven days at the behest of the management of Bristow but that organization did not in any way proffer solutions to the challenges at hand.
NAAPE’s decision to go on strike was disclosed in a letter to members in Bristow with Ref NS/GS/NAAPE/vol.051/2020 dated July 29, 2020, issued and signed by the Deputy National Secretary, Umoh Ofonime
He stated in the letter that NAAPE has been engaging Bristow to carry out the renewal of pilots and engineers Condition of Service (COS) and other sundry matters in that organization.
“NAAPE had previously instructed members in the employment of Bristow Helicopters to embark on a 3-day wang strike at the expiration of which an olive branch was extended to the Bristow management in for of a seven day notice period during which the union had held out hope of an amicable resolution to the items under contention but unfortunately Bristow management was unable to proffer any solution even after the union graciously extended the seven day notice period at the behest of the Bristow management,” the letter reads in part.
NAAPE in the letter listed some of the issues under dispute to include: management’s proposal to suspend the COS negotiations and its deliberate subversion of established terms of agreement with NAAPE.
The letter also pointed out as reason management’s,” insistence on benchmarking salaries of national pilots and engineers to an obsolete rate of NGN345/$1 coupled with their recent insistence on its proposal to implement NGN355/$1- a rate which is not obtainable on any legal foreign exchange window in the world while still paying expatriate foreigners their full remuneration in United States Dollars.
Others according to the letter ism “Failure to train qualified persons for ATPL and failure to fully reimburse individuals who have successfully completed their ATPL through self sponsorship- a deviation from the agreement in place at the time and disproportionate matching and capped reimbursement cash figure for self-sponsored pilots on ATPL with an employment bond of N30 million – An obvious unethical and sharp practice.
“Odious laying off of young cadet and trainee engineers after several years of tearful sacrificial toiling on the basis of a promised career in the company and now in an extension of the insatiable thirst of nulling our vitality, the company is prepping for a preposterous and unjustifiable redundancy of engineers and pilots hitherto grossly mistreated vis-à-vis the company’s non-adherence to expatriate quota law, national content law and presidential executive order No.5
“Anomalous implementation of engineers matrix/chart/progression and refusal to adjust national engineers’ progression in tandem with expatriate nationals and global aviation standards and the norm of jettisoning negotiated agreements as in the case of systemic dissolution of the engineering work shift in Eket operation.”
NAAPE said that it has consistently engaged Bristow management to address these issues to no avail.
According to NAAP, “As a result of these blatant discriminatory policies and consistent victimization of Nigerian nationals at the hands of Bristow management our members are no longer mentally conditioned to safely deliver their professional obligations under such absurd, discriminatory and excruciating work environment.
The statement continued “NAAPE uses this medium to issue a strong warning to any detractor to steer away from any acts of sabotage or betrayal. Expatriates are particularly advised not to engage in any actions which may be viewed as an act of sabotage- such action shall define anyone who acts otherwise as an antagonist of good faith and will be met with the appropriate response. To this effect, NAAPE expects and demands full compliance from all members including Chief Engineers and Chief Pilots”.