By Chinelo Obogo

The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has threatened to shut down Caverton Helicopters within 72 hours if the issues of non-payment of salaries and other issues are not addressed.

Expressing concern over the well-being of pilots and engineers, NAAPE’s general secretary, Olayinka Aboiye, criticised Caverton’s negligence, highlighting non-payment of salaries, noting that workers have not been paid December, some January and others February salaries. He also lamented non-adherence to agreements and noted that Caverton still uses outdated currency rates as a benchmark used for the workers.

He said: ”The position of our members and our union is that we want management to offset this payment in terms of that agreement by paying the current dollar rate and not the old rate.

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“Why would Caverton management continue to owe staff salaries when these people are working for them? The pilots and engineers are attached to Shell contracts, while Shell is not operating, Shell is the paying management of Caverton the salaries of all their workers. So why is it difficult for the management to make this money available to staff?” he said.

He accused Caverton of withholding pension contributions and failing to compensate redundant workers as per agreements.

NAAPE has given Caverton a three-day ultimatum to resolve these issues, threatening permanent shutdown if demands aren’t met. “If between now and Wednesday our members are not paid fully their entitlements, we have no choice than to shut down Caverton permanently,” he said.