NiMet workers to down tools over 45 months wage arreas, unions issue 14-day ultimatum

  • Seek probe of staff employed in 2018

 

The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), and the Association Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) have given the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) a 14-day ultimatum to pay outstanding 45-month arrears of minimum wage consequential adjustment which they said has remained unpaid since 2022.

The unions in a letter to the Director-General of NiMet, dated January 29, 2024, and jointly signed by NUATE General Secretary, Ocheme Aba, AUPCTRE General Secretary, Sikiru Waheed, and ANAP General Secretary, Abdul Rasaq Saidu stated that the areas is a consequence of the minimum wage Act of April 2019-the act which is even now being reviewed, showing how state the matter had become.

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They noted that having labored for years before the consequential adjustment was obtained in 2022, and having labored in vain thus far for its implementation since 2022, they are left with no option than to express, “Our frustration  through withdrawal of the services of the workers of NiMet.”

“Accordingly, do take not, sir, that if the payment of the arrears is not effected in the next 14 days, our unions will be forced to cause a total withdrawal of services in the agency without further notice to you.”

“We urge the management to take advantage of the 14-day window and act to avert a major conflagration in the aviation and other sectors of the economy. We shall refuse to accept any blame for such an eventuality, having exhausted all patience and forbearance.”

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Some of the workers who spoke to Aviation Metric lamented that NiMet workers are worst paid among the other agencies in the aviation industry despite its strategic nature to other sectors of the economy.

“They are the crying baby of aviation and no minister seems to care. The Minister had an inaugural meeting with the Minister towards the close of last year that pertained to the welfare of the workers. The Minister, Festus Keyamo promised to see to their plight but up till this moment, nothing has been done and he hasn’t raised the issue again with us.”

The source said issues raised at the meeting included the 45-month minimum wage arrears, poor conditions of service, non-implementation of the newly approved scheme that could better the lot of the workers, 40 percent increment that was granted by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Many of the workers want many of the appointments done in 2018 to be probed, noting that many of the people appointed are redundant and have not resumed duties till today while many of them earn salaries and allowances without reporting for work and asking for allowances which former DG, Prof. Mansur Matazu refused to pay.

Wole Shadare

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