Over 70 Pilots sacked by Nigeria’s biggest carrier, Air Peace, are digging in to challenge the action of the management of the airline. Even the remaining ones are grumbling seriously over the 40 percent cut in their salaries.
Before the unilateral action of the management of the airline, there was an initial proposal of a staggering 80 per cent pay cut over the dwindling earnings occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic which the pilots rejected.
Sources in the airline said the management was trying to engage the pilots to see the reason for the pay cut which it said was beyond it in view of the negative impact of COVID-19 on the aviation business.
Suddenly they changed gear and over 50 per cent of its pilots were given letters and relieved of their appointments as the dialogue between the management and the pilots delayed in yielding result.
.According to a statement released by the airline on Tuesday they claimed “the decision was taken for the greater good of the company and its almost three thousand workforces, the affected pilots inclusive,”
“The airline cannot afford to toe the path of being unable to continue to fulfil its financial obligations to its staff, external vendors, aviation agencies, maintenance organisations, insurance companies, banks and other creditors.
“Hence, the decision to restructure its entire operations with a view to surviving the times.
“Anything short of what we have done may lead to the collapse of an airline as could be seen in some places worldwide during this period.
The management claimed Air Peace never owed salaries in six years of its operation.
In their words; “In fact, in one fell swoop, Air Peace increased the salaries of pilots by over 100 per cent in one day!
“Our salaries have always been paid even before the end of the month in the last five years.
“So, we love all our staff. This decision is inevitable under the circumstances we find ourselves.
“When everything comes back to normal, those pilots affected today will have a place to come back to in future, if they so wish,” the statement added.