Mr. Moses Unanaowo, is the Branch Chairman of the National Union of Air Transport Employess (NUATE) Ethiopian Airlines Branch. He spoke with Ewos IRORO and Olufunmilayo ADEYEMI on the celebration of the 2018 Workers’ Day and shed light on how Unionism can be used to foster peace and harmony.
Q: Can we meet you Sir?
My name is Moses Unanaowo. A Senior Staff with Ethiopian Airlines, and Branch Chairman of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE). I hold a B.Sc in Computer Science and an MBA in Marketing Research.
Q: How long have you been working with Ethiopian Airlines and what has your experience been like?
I have been working for 13 years with Ethiopian Airlines. The experience has been in many phases. It has been awesome and wonderful with local and international exposures.
Q: Staff welfare is a very important issue. How has Ethiopian airlines performed in this regard?
First of all I thank God for the opportunity to serve and my distinguished colleagues for giving me the opportunity to lead them. Having said that, Ethiopian Airlines does not take issues of staff welfare with kids glove. It is one international company operating in Nigeria that has been up and doing in terms of staff welfare at least for now.
Q: As the Chairman of the Ethiopian Airlines Branch of National Union of Air Transport Employee (NUATE), how challenging has it been and would you say it’s been a rewarding experience?
You know there is this wrong notion that when you are a labour leader you are tagged a rebel or an enemy of such an organization. No, it is not so. Though the challenges are there ranging from the wrong notion I earlier mentioned to some little oppositions here and there but in all it makes me stronger than ever. It prepares me for a better life ahead; it prepares me to manage people in a mega capacity.
Q: Are there areas in your engagement with management that need closer review and intervention of the National body of the Union? If any what are they and how do you hope to address them?
I will say yes and no. Yes in the sense that we always meet with the Management and the national body to resolve lingering issues and upgrade of staff welfare, etc. In addressing issues with management we adopt our major tool which is DIALOGUE. All over the world, dialogue is used for conflict resolution in which people air their minds and grievances. We make use of dialogue and in the end it becomes a win-win situation. No in the sense that anytime the national body is seen around the chapter, it is perceived that there is a crisis. Instead of inviting the national body for conflict resolution, we invite them to celebrate the expansion of the company, we invite them for a get together party. This is also as a result of the fact that the staffs are well trained to avoid issues that will bring the union into disrespect. Again if a staff is maltreated by management, unions don’t take things like that lightly.
Q: What message do you have for the staff of Ethiopian airlines in Nigeria as you begin a new year?
I have before now sent a New Year message to my colleagues in Ethiopian Airlines. Hard work is a key to success. Work hard, don’t involve yourselves in banned drugs and other vices that may tarnish the reputation of the airline and NUATE in general. NUATE will not support any staff that is into banned drugs, narcotic activities and any other vices that will tarnish the company’s image.
Q: How do you encourage and reward your staff for their loyalty and hard work?
I have a very strong team of Executive members I work with; it is not about me alone. We meet regularly and we regularly hold a get together party to reward loyal and hard working staff with awards and gifts.