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Sacked workers picket Dana Air over unpaid salaries, gratuities, others

No fewer than 100 sacked employees of Dana Air, on Tuesday in Lagos, picketed the head office of the airline over alleged unpaid salaries and outstanding pensions, among others.

The protesters were seen carrying placards with various inscriptions, such as: ‘Expatriates not paid for three months’; ‘Pension deductions not remitted since 2008’; ‘Say No to tyranny’ and ‘7 aircraft, only one serviceable’, among others.

The airlines’ former Training and Cabin Services Manager, Mrs Magdalene Onyeukwu, who was also among the protesters, expressed dismay over the laying-off of the workers, accusing the airline management of lack of empathy.

Onyeukwu also accused the management of not making adequate settlements before relieving the workers of their jobs.

“I have been working with the airline since 2008 and I participated in the demo flight which got them their Air Operator Certificate (AOC). I and others like me have been dedicated, even in the face of challenges. When salaries were not paid, we were committed until the runway incident of April 23.

“It is normal for Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to audit the airline but before we knew it, we got WhatsApp messages that our services were no longer required.

The Chief Executive Officer of Dana Air, Mr Jacky Hathiramani, should address us. We want our gratuities, while our April salary and one month in lieu of service should be paid,” she said.

Another protester, Mr Eze Chidi, a former Aviation Security (AVSEC) Supervisor, condemned the action of management of the airline on the workers, describing it as uncalled for.

Chidi urged the Federal Government to intervene on the alleged victimisation, enslavement, exploitation and unaccountable management, among other acts.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Dana Air management officials were, however, not reachable for comments.

NAN reports that NCAA had, on April 24, suspended the airlines’ AOC, following a runway skid of its MD-82 aircraft, with registration number 5N-BKI on April 23.

NAN also reports that the suspension of the AOC was to allow NCAA to carry out a comprehensive audit of the company.

Consequent upon the ongoing audit, the airline had, in a statement on May 11, stated that some of its employees had been ‘temporarily disengaged’. (NAN)