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National Union of Air Transport Services Employees (NUATSE)
Origin of NUATE

The development of the aviation industry in Nigeria, which was essentially a post-independence affair, was the precursor of the formation of trade unions in the industry.  Before 1978, house unions existed in the Nigeria Airways and the civil aviation department (CAD) of the ministry of transportation. It was the union in Nigeria Airways that crystallized the National Union of Air Transport Services Employees (NUATSE) in 1978. The first delegates conference was organized by the Nigeria Airways workers in Lagos Town Hall in 1978, where the first President, Comrade Alhaji Abubakar Yusuf emerged. All other officers of the Union also came from the then Nigeria Airways.

In 1978, the union was registered as the National Union of Air Transport Services Employees (NUATSE) with registration number 0003 of January 14th 1982, to cater for all the employees in the Aviation industry except Pilots and Engineers. However, in the restructuring of industrial unions carried out by the Federal Government that took place in 1996, the union became National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) number 6 on the third schedule of decree 4 of 1996.

Civil Aviation Department (CAD) workers later joined the union. As administrative exigencies, ICAO instruments were implemented new organizations like Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Airspace Management Airport (NAMA), Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), were established and their staff joined the NUATE fold. With the creation of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, most of their staff embraced NUATE.

The first foreign Airlines workers to become members were British Caledonia now known as British Airlines, followed by workers of UTA now Air France. The local private airlines were also organized – Aero Contractors, Bristow Helicopters, Pan African Airlines of Nigeria, Dornier Aviation. The union is on the threshold of organizing Arik and DANA Airlines having struggled hard to earn their agreement to unionize. The union has also incorporated organized airport workers as affiliates.

National Presidents of this Union are as follows;
1.  Comrade Y. A. Abubakar – 1978 – 1984
2.  Late Comrade I. M. Makut – 1985 – 1989
3.  Comrade Joseph Imbusuh – 1989 – 1991
4.  Late Comrade Gabriel Uzoegbu 1991 – 1996
5.  Comrade J. Imomotebegha – 1996 – 1999
6.  Comrade C. C. Nnorom – 1999 – 2003
7.  Comrade I. O. Itua – 2003 -2008
8.  Comrade D. M. Safiyanu – 2008- till date

the first General Secretary was Comrade Hudson Momodu. Comrades Emmanuel Doteh Fidelis and Rasak Ade Saidu took turns in the position of Acting General Secretary. Comrades Gideon Ogbuji and Abdul Kareem Motajo acted as, and were confirmed substantive General Secretaries. The current head of the Secretariat is comrade Olayinka Abioye, the Deputy General Secretary.  

By its registration, it has jurisdiction to unionize all employees of commercial, private, chartered airlines, parastatals and government owned companies in civil aviation, aviation handling and security companies, travel agencies and other allied companies, (except airline pilots, engineers and those designated as management projection).

THE UNION’S ENGAGEMENTS:

1.       Organized a Pilot HIV/AIDS Prevention Program
2.           Participated in all Nigeria Labour Congress Activities and those of our International affiliates.  For example, the PRESIDENT -  Comrade Dauda Mohammed Safiyanu is the Coordinator of International Transport Workers Federation (ITF)-West Africa, and the Financial Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC); our erstwhile General Secretary – Comrade Abdul Kareem Motajo is a member of the Presidential Council of the World Federation of Trade Union (WFTU).
3.              Engaged Government and Managements in all Aviation Industry issues and policies
4.              Engaging the Government and other Stakeholders in the Liquidation of Nigeria Airways in favour of the workers. The unresolved issues in the severance benefits of the erstwhile employees are still the subject of our continuing struggles in their interest.
5.              Increased Efforts to Unionise Organizations that have not been unionized and reorganization of the unionized.
6.              Regular negotiation of the welfare and benefits of our members with their managements.
7.              Engaging in training of our members on leadership, organizing, gender and other beneficial issues.
8.              Going to quadrennial conference regularly.
9.              Negotiated annual salary reviews in the foreign airlines based on inflation, cost of living index and other relevant instruments
10.           Continuing struggle in ensuring job security, decent jobs and general welfare of those in employment

 


COMRADE SAFIYANU MOHAMMED
NUATE PRESIDENT



NUATE SECRETARY GENERAL

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