Indications have emerged that the management of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc plans to disengage some of its workers over health and other issues.
The development, it was gathered, was as a result of staff optimisation programme in the company, where it was discovered that some of the workers were no longer operating at optimal capacities.
The company, it was learnt, had already commenced discussions with the National Union of Air Transport Employees and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria over the issue.
The Manager, Communications and Corporate Services, NAHCO, Mr. Tayo Ajakaye, who confirmed the development to The PUNCH, said the number of people that would be affected had not been decided.
He stated that a meeting had been held to discuss the subject matter with the unions but that proper discussion had not commenced.
Ajakaye said, “Nothing has been agreed but a committee called the ‘Staff optimisation committee’ has been set up to know where we have excess staff or shortage to see whether we can move some around. In the process, it came to light that some people were no longer operating at optimal capacities and we need to employ people to take over and those there will be required to give way.
“The process is why the negotiation has to take place. A meeting has been held to discuss the intent. Whatever we are going to do will be in accordance with the laws of service; ultimately, if you want to send away 10 people, for instance, and you realise the amount to pay is huge, you may reduce the number to five. But no one can say what the number is or what the pay-out will be.”
The Secretary General, NUATE, Mr. Olayinka Abioye, told our correspondent that the management of NAHCO called the union for a meeting last week and informed it that the company was in the process of staff optimisation.
Abioye said, “We were notified at the meeting that during evaluation resulting from manpower shortage in some areas and excess staff in others, it was discovered that there were health and other issues. Some of the health issues are eye problems, skeletal disorder and hernia, among others, due to staring at aircraft light and lifting heavy objects.
“We are still in talks but we have informed the management to put certain structures in place since these conditions were from the job.”
He added that a few of the workers would be placed on redundancy but that the management had promised a ‘golden handshake’ for all the workers that would be affected.
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