Arik Strikes Deal With Striking Workers, Resumes Flights


Agency report

Nigeria’s Arik airline has resumed flights following a deal to end a one-day strike that paralysed its operation, the company said on Wednesday.

Aviation unions called the strike on Tuesday to protest non-payment of seven months of salaries to Arik workers. The unions also protested non-remittance of taxes and the sacking of five its leaders.

Due to the stoppage, thousands of local and foreign passengers were stranded.

Dispute resolved, says Arik

Arik said in a statement on Wednesday that the dispute had been resolved “following the meeting called by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to address the airline and the aviation unions.”

The airline said it had provided bigger planes to cope with the backlog of passengers whose flights were affected by the strike.

Union confirms suspension

Union leader Tokuboh Korodo told AFP the strike had been suspended.

“We met the management of Arik last night and they agreed to pay the arrears of salaries by December 31,” Korodo said.

He said the airline also agreed to recall the five union leaders that were sacked.

“If Arik refuses to honour the deal by December 31, we will resume the strike,” he warned.

Arik, Nigeria’s leading carrier, is responsible for 60 percent of flights with an international network that includes Johannesburg and New York.

The airline has been facing a crisis due to shortages of aviation fuel in the country. It has forced it to either delay or cancel flights, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

Low crude prices have led to shortage of dollars in Nigeria which depends on import for the bulk of its fuel supply.

Nigeria has had no national airline since the collapse of Nigeria Airways in 2003 due to poor management and corruption.

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