Business mogul, Taiwo Afolabi‘s Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc. is in big trouble.
The company’s ex-workers have cried out over the non-payment of their severance benefits 11years after the firm was privatised.
SAHCO, an arm of the defunct Nigerian Airways was sold to SIFAX Group in 2009. Taiwo Afolabi is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SIFAX Group.
The ex-workers who are 982 in number lamented that no fewer than 15 of them have died fighting for their entitlement while many of them are now incapacitated.
They gave the company and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) one week to pay their entitlement, adding that failure to do so would disrupt SAHCO’s operation in 22 airports across the country.
Chairman, former SAHCO retirees, Ochai Adamu, said;
“The BPE should intervene in the matter immediately, SAHCO has handed off payment of the benefits.”
“The entire benefit was N3.5 billion but was later reduced to N1.8 billion, adding that none of the workers has got any money since 11 years”
Reports revealed that aviation unions comprising the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) had on 31st of August wrote a letter to SAHCO that the continued refusal to pay the benefit of the affected workers is a recipe for industrial crisis in the company.
The letter signed by the General Secretary of NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba and Deputy General Secretary, ATSSSAN, Comrade Frances Akinjole reads in part;
“We are constrained, therefore, to inform you that our unions can no longer wait helplessly and hopelessly as these victims die one after another without enjoying the benefits of their labour.”
Meanwhile, SAHCO in its reply to the letter insisted that the redundancy claim by the former workers is for the number of years they worked for the Federal Government and not for SAHCO and directed that the threat should be directed to the appropriate quarters.