Airline operators in the country have opted out of Monday’s mass action called by organised labour.

The President of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, said in a statement on Sunday that the association would not be part of the planned indefinite strike action called by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over recent hike in electricity tariffs and pump price of petrol.

Abdulmunaf said the airline operators suffered huge losses during the three months COVID-19 lockdown and were forced to lay off staff and significantly reduce the salaries of those retained.

He said: “It would be very insensitive and a show of lack of understanding and compassion for Nigerian aviation workers who have suffered greatly from the nationwide restrictions due to the pandemic to be asked to go on strike indefinitely once again.

Aviation workers need to work to sustain their livelihoods and support their families especially at this crucial time when schools are resuming around the country and they need all the financial support they can muster to survive.

“While we totally understand the concerns of labour on the need to make the government see reason with Nigerians and identify with the challenges being faced currently by the masses, we call on the leaders of the various labour unions to continue to dialogue with the government to find a middle ground that will be a win-win situation for all parties.

“It is not in the interest of aviation workers to be asked to go back home indefinitely once again after barely resuming operations very recently and the airlines are still trying to recover from the lockdown and making concerted efforts to survive and secure the jobs and livelihood of its workers.”