A group of aviation unions have disrupted the operations of Arik from early hours of Tuesday, December 20, 2016 by occupying its head office and preventing staff from gaining access to their workplace.
The protesters also prevented the staff of the airline from gaining access to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, disrupting the checking-in of passengers for both domestic and international flights.
According to a statement by the airline, the aviation unions under the aegis of National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Traffic Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN) are protesting the non-unionisation of Arik Air staff who are not members of any of these protesting unions.
"The union leadership had earlier written a letter to the management of Arik Air on their grievances and a meeting had been scheduled between the two parties for Wednesday, December 21, 2016. The unions however did not wait for the scheduled meeting or the outcome of the meeting, before embarking on such disruptive and strong-arm tactics against the airline." the statement said.
Beside owing its staff 7 months salaries, Arik Air has been accused of irregular taxes and other deductions as well as punishing and sacking union members and executives.