A labour leader, Comrade Martin Adekunle, has said that liberalization in the aviation industry has increased competitive pressure, leading to growing flexibility and a broad range of working arrangements implying outsourcing and downsizing that deviate from more traditional forms of employment relationships.
Comrade Adekunle in a presentation at the second quadrennial national delegates conference of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Associations of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) held at Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, stated that while several of these tendencies aim to safeguard the economic survival of the aviation industry, worries exist about the impact of these changes on the protection of the workforce in the industry.
Adekunle opined that there was need for concerted action to promote a culture of work life and institutional relationship that enhances the collective interests of both the workplace and the larger society.
In the presentation titled: “Strengthening Labour Management Partnership: A Viable Recipe In An Era Of Economic Recession”, Adekunle advised that management relations should be borne out of the realization that employers and unions must partner so that productive enterprises take full advantage of opportunities for growth, and the optimal utilization of potentials.
To ensure corporate growth and survival of the aviation industry, the labour leader said that mutual understanding and trust; respect for fundamental rights; bargaining in good faith; honour collective agreements; interests accommodation; social dialogue and consensus building; consultative and collaborative Partnership must come into play.
Advising Nigerian workers on how to achieve success in unionism, Comrade Adekunle said “Nigerian workers must come to terms with this grim reality. This reality demands solidarity among workers, it demands collective action and it demands a united front of the labouring masses if they are to overcome the adversities they face not just in the world of work but within the larger society”.
He also said that Trade Unions in Nigeria need to strategically reinvent themselves through: •organising themselves nationally and globally; adopting social movement unionism strategies; understanding their sources of power and keying into them.
Other areas Trade Unions need to key into according to him are: emphasizing education and capacity building; networking and partnering with other stakeholders; accountability and transparency; right campaigns that are relevant to members; engage in extensive Research and Development and documentation of relevant data or information.
Speaking further, Adekunle emphasised that labour-management partnerships are worthwhile investments of unions and employers time and resources, adding “thus the partnership should be able to bring together different actors in collaborative action as well as in collaborative efforts to effect change and cope with economic challenges” .
The Comrade who confirmed that the aviation industry has not been spared from the attendant consequences of the recession, equally stated that labour-management partnership strategies should cultivate positive changes in workplace culture and improve the overall climate of labour management relations.
“Today’s global economy presents many challenges and opportunities for both employers and employees. The effective management of human resources is critical to maintaining an organization’s competitiveness,” Adekunle advised.