FORMER Air Nigeria employees have taken the airline’s management to an industrial court claiming illegal and wrongful termination of their employment and the non-payment of their entitlements.
In a suit filed by the workers’ solicitors, Air Nigeria’s chairman Jimoh Ibrahim and its chief executive Kinfe Kanssaye, have been dragged before the National Industrial Court in Lagos. Staff are suing for unlawful termination of their contracts as well as non-payment of salaries and non-remittance of their 7.5 percent pension scheme contributions.
According to the workers, they were all employed by the Virgin Nigeria Airways via their respective letters of employment but on December 31, 2010, Virgin Nigeria Airways was changed to Air Nigeria Development , with all business related assets and liabilities transferred too. They claim a letter notifying them of the change was communicated to them by Mr Ibrahim through the chief executive Mr Kanssaye, who also signed the letters.
The workers have asked the industrial court to direct the defendants to pay N100m for a breach of contract in respect of the contributory pension scheme fund which, according to them, was not remitted to the pension scheme by the defendants.
Stating their case, the workers explained that on September 5, 2012, Air Nigeria terminated their employment unilaterally and compulsorily retired workers, adding that the termination of their appointments was communicated to them in the media. They also claimed that the termination of their employment did not follow due process as contained in the employment hand book, adding that they did not withdraw their respective services to Air Nigeria Development as they did not write any letter to the company.