Murtala Muhammadu Airport

The unions in the aviation sector on Wednesday shut down operations at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2), Lagos, over the alleged sack of 20 employees who indicated interest to unionize.

The union members are protesting the sack of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) staff who joined aviation unions.

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The protest has also caused heavy vehicular traffic along the airport road in Ikeja.

The unions are; The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).

The unions had issued a notice of strike dated October 5, which was jointly signed by the General Secretary of NUATE, Olayinka Abioye, General Secretary, ATSSSAN, Frances Akinjole and General Secretary, NAAPE, Ocheme Aba.

The unions said they were compelled to issue the notice following the refusal of the BASL management to cooperate with the interventions of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and airport security agencies.

The unions said all services to MMA2 would be withdrawn effective October 10, unless the management fully reinstate all the affected workers without loss of pay or seniority.

They also advised the management to recognise the unions and allow the unhindered processes of unionisation in BASL in compliance with extant labour laws.

The unions, while apologising for any inconvenience caused by the disruption, vowed to continue the protest until BASL accede to their demands.

The unions and BASL had been at loggerheads since May when the workers were laid off.

The spokesperson for BASL, Steve Omolale, had said contrary to the claims of the unions, these workers who were relieved of their appointment were staff, who had either attained retirement age or who were found not to be diligent in their duties.