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Unions call for safer work environment, drastic curbing measures as COVID-19 hits harder

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Aviation unions have called on the various agency management to prioritize 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.This is just as the unions consisting National Union of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) have commended the Federal Government’s decision to suspend all international flights into Nigeria.

In a statement signed in solidarity by Deputy General Secretary, ATSSSAN Comrade Frances Akinjole Deputy General Secretary, NAAPE, Umoh Ofonime T. as well as General Secretary ANAP, Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu and General Secretary, NUATE, Ocheme Aba they 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 air transport workers are one of the most hazardously exposed set of peoples 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 management 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 Nigeria. 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 “Corona” 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,” statement read.

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