The leadership of the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, has threatened to ground operations of Caverton helicopters over the sack of at least 50 of its members without following the due course of law and what it termed “illegal deductions of salaries to the tune of 1,000 per cent.
A letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the helicopter company, signed by the General-Secretary, NUATE, Comrade Olayinka Abioye and made available to some journalists in Lagos accused the organisation of illegally deducting workers’ salaries since September this year.
The letter insisted that management erred for deducting staff salaries without any iota of consideration for rules, logic and applicable standards, stressing that the exercise was not meant to safeguard the company financially as a result of “drop of two Shell helicopters.”
The union further queried the non-uniformity in deductions of workers’ salaries and recourse to the unions for the exercise, alleging that rather than deduct some of the staff’s salaries, theirs either remained as it was or increased by as much as 200 and 350 per cent.
The letter added, “What qualified the staff of Human Resources have salary increases as much as 200 per cent or 300 per cent? Why would someone earning about N200, 000 be catapulted to N500, 000 or why would a staff earning N500, 000 be moved to N1, 000,000 plus in the same company?
“Are we actually reducing staff salaries to compensate for loss of revenue? Why should the staff of administration enjoy same increase while another staff had a reduction in salaries? The letter queried.
The letter purported further that management used “this discriminatory, segregated, corrupt and fraudulent exercise to rob some” of its members as a result of the closeness of some staff to certain elements within and outside the company.
The letter appealed to the management to by the end of this month, some of the irregularities observed must be addressed while all deductions hitherto made from staff since September without recourse to extant financial regulations of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must be reinstated to the workers.
The letter emphasised that the union would not be held accountable for the consequences that may arise over the failure of the management to rectify the shortcomings pointed out by it.