Unions Fault Virgin Atlantic on Laying Off of Nigerian Cabin Crew

Two trade unions in the aviation sector have faulted the recent laying off of Nigerian cabin crew by Virgin Atlantic Airline management.

The unions, the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) said this in a statement issued in Lagos at the weekend.

The airline had recently laid off the cabin crew comprising 20 Nigerians.

However, the statement, signed on behalf of ATSSSAN and NUATE Mr Saint Omotaje and Olayinka Abioye respectively, said the dismissal of the workers had breached international labour practices.

"We have studied the situation and have decided to call on the Federal Government, through the relevant ministry of Transportation and Aviation Agencies (MDA's) to intervene in this act of racism before it gets out of hand.

"It is now obvious that Virgin Atlantic does not have a workable conditions of service for its employees.

"Even where it exists, it discriminates against the black race (Nigerians) aboard their airplane and yet, they will not want to leave the Lagos-UK route for those that love us, Nigerians," the unions alleged.

They warned that aviation workers would mobilised through their various unions, associations and international affiliates in the coming days to seek the reversal of this racial impunity on the Nigerian crew.

"We believe that Virgin Atlantic must respect the Community Social Responsibility (CSR) obligation they owed Nigerians.

"If they cannot use our crew in their airline, then they have no business flying into or from our country where they make a lot of money," the unions said.