Aviation workers under the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) have shut the operations of Bristow Helicopters across the country owing to a pay disparity. The association claimed the management has been unfair to Nigerian staff who do the same job as the expatriates but earn less.
During the demonstration, the workers were seen singing solidarity songs at the Head Office of Bristow Helicopters in Lagos which has been shut down. They accused the company of paying expatriates their full remuneration in dollars but insisted on benchmarking salaries of national pilots and engineers to an obsolete rate of N345 per dollar, saying it was not obtainable on any legal foreign exchange window in the world.
The protesters also claimed that Bristow has refused to train qualified persons for Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) and failed to fully reimburse individuals who have successfully completed their ATPL through self-sponsorship. According to them, this is a deviation from the agreement in place at the time and disproportionate matching and capped reimbursement cash figure for self-sponsored pilots on ATPL with an employment bond of N30 million.
They accused the company of odious laying off of young cadet and trainee engineers after several years of tearful sacrificial toiling on the basis of a promised career in the company.