No pay directive: Rep counsels airlines to show empathy to employees

The , Committee on Aviation, Mr Nnolim Nnaji, has appealed to airlines and private organisations within the not to abandon their staff in this period of uncertainties occasioned COVID-19 pandemic.

Nnaji, representing Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency of Enugu State, made the appeal in a statement issued in Lagos on .

The lawmaker said he was disturbed the memo issued to staff Max Air to the effect that it would not pay its employees salaries for the period of the two weeks lockdown directed the Federal Government.

Nnaji noted memo which had now gone viral further stressed condition of ‘no pay’ would extend if the situation persisted.

He said his major worry was that other organisations might follow suit, if care was not taken.

Nnaji however appealed to the management of the airline to reconsider this hard line posture retracing its action in this regard.

The lawmaker also urged other organisations in the to see the trying period as a time of sacrifice and extreme compassion to their staff.

He said: “I am aware that elsewhere, governments are providing palliatives for employers of labour to cushion the impact of this pandemic.

“However, because of our peculiar circumstances,  the federal government may not immediately offer such at the moment,” he said.

Nnaji said he was optimistic that some of relief would definitely come at the end of the day to assist the airlines.

He therefore urged the of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sariki, to step in and hold talks with various stakeholders in the industry to avoid ripple effects of Max Air action.

Also, Nnaji called for understanding among the people and leaders of the Southeast Region over the aborted reopening of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA) Enugu before Easter as planned.

He lamented development was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which had forced  workers of both the contractor and consultants handling the project out of site.

He assured that as soon as the prevailing pandemic died down,  work would resume at an accelerated speed and new date of inaugurating the airport would be unveiled.

Nnaji commended . Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State  for the way and manner he had mobilised materials and human resources to curtail the spread of Coronavirus in the state.

He also urged residents of the state to cooperate with the state government by abiding to the instruction given on stay at home and social distancing. ()