Arik Air slashes salary of workers as lockdown bites

April 24, 2020
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One of Nigeria’s major airline, Arik Air has a mail to all workers that it has implemented 80% salary cut for its personnel for the month of April.

The airline in the mail issued by the Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Captain Roy Ilegbolu, also ordered 90% of its 1,800 staff to proceed on leave without pay until further notice.

Ilegbolu said in the mail, “After careful deliberation and analyses, management has decided to implement an 80 per cent pay cut for all members of staff across the entire organisation for the month of April 2020. Furthermore, commencing from May 1st 2020, no less than 90 per cent of our staff will proceed on leave without pay until further notice. This position will be reviewed on a monthly basis and communications on further developments will be shared by our HR department as the situation evolves.

“Of huge significance to us is that we have suffered a sharp decline of over 98% in our revenue streams since the suspension of our scheduled flights almost four weeks ago. Added to this is the rapid decline in the value of the naira by over 35% against the benchmark and with oil prices now falling well below $15 per barrel, it is evident that we must, without further delay, take decisive action to preserve our organisation.”

According to the Arik boss, the focus of the management has always hinged on the well-being and safety of the staff, managing liquidity as an organisation and creating the opportunity to ride out of inclement circumstances such as the one it is faced today.

To further cut cost, Arik has reached out to its suppliers, specifically negotiating reduced rates on all contracted services and mitigating operational expenses due to changes in demand. It has also implemented contingency plans for staff and introduced operational support flexibility.

According to a manager in the airline, who prefers anonymity, the management had told all workers across the nation that it would slash salaries for obvious reasons.

He said, “It was so sad when we were informed. Nobody planned for what happened and we have no other choice but to re-strategise in order to make ends meet.

“The plan of the airline is to right-size the workforce. Information I got from Lagos confirmed that about 50% of the workforce may be forced to resign and that is more devastating than slashing salaries due to lockdown.”

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