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.


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