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Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has highlighted that like in other sectors, the challenge of poor and non-proactive leadership has reduced the impact of Trade Unions across sectors in the country.

This, he said has contributed to a lack of trust by members and wrong strategies by union leaders in addressing the myriads of issues that regularly call for attention.

The minister who made this assertion on Wednesday at a two-day Strategic Workshop on Industrial Harmony by the Joint Aviation Trade Unions Forum in Owerri, Imo State, thus noted that the solution is to ensure that only “qualified, tested, and trusted leaders who are true workers should be voted into leadership positions at the local, state, and national level”.

Sirika who was represented by James Odaoudu, Director Public Affairs of the Ministry, harped that it is only leaders with integrity that will have the courage to face employers objectively and call their members to order when things go wrong.

“In addition, union leaders should be properly trained and educated to know the basic labour laws to plan their actions within the confine of the laws to avoid pursuing shadows while leaving the substance, especially during collective bargaining and conflict resolution engagements.

“On our part, we will continue to support the involvement of union leaders and workers in our policy and decision-making processes. This is because, when issues arise at the workplace between managers and the employee, union representatives remain the channels to secure “win-win” situations in which both sides feel as if they each attained something from the deal,” he added.

Sirika advised that it has become imperative for unionists, especially in the aviation sector to firm up, given the fact that the sector has “entered the critical stage of the implementation of our aviation sector development roadmap, we need all hands on deck to ensure its success. Only an environment of industrial harmony can guarantee that”.

“In the Nigerian aviation sector, I dare say that the various labour unions have tried to play this role effectively. This role enables labour unions to ensure that cordial and good understanding between employers and employees could be established in the workplace and leads to a harmonious and conducive working environment. It is such an environment that results in higher organizational and individual productivity,” Sirika added.

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