Bristow Pilots, Engineers Begin Strike Over Alleged Discrimination

The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers has directed all its members engaged with Bristow Helicopters to embark on a strike action scheduled for August 3, 2020.

This development is coming after all labour matters and negotiations between both parties broke down, despite a preceding three-day warning strike.

In a letter signed by Deputy National Secretary, Umoh Ofonime, with Ref NS/GS/NAAPE/vol.051/2020 dated July 29, 2020, NAAPE directed its members working with Bristow to proceed on strike over issues not resolved with management.

The union accused Bristow of: “Insistence on benchmarking salaries of national pilots and engineers to an obsolete rate of N345/$1 coupled with their recent insistence on their proposal to implement N355/$1- a rate which is not obtainable on any legal foreign exchange window in the world while still paying expatriates their full remuneration in USD.

“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 N30m – 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.

“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 engineering work shift in Eket operation.”

The union said it had consistently engaged the management of Bristow to sort these issues but failed to make headway.

Accusing Bristow of discrimination and victimisation, it said its members were no longer “mentally conditioned to safely deliver their professional obligations” under the harsh environment, hence the strike action.

It advised its members to completely withdraw all their services to Bristow until the issues were resolved permanently.

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