Business resumes at Lagos airport as aviation unions suspend industrial action
Flight operations and business activities on Friday, October 12, resumed at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2), Lagos following the suspension of the industrial action against the terminal owners by aviation unions.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the unions had on Thursday night, October 11, called off their two-day industrial action against Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) following the signing of an agreement by the union leaders and BASL.
The agreement was brokered by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and airport security agencies who intervened in the dispute between the two parties.
A copy of the agreement which was signed by Ola Azeez, group head, human resources and Rodger Whittle, group executive director, on behalf of BASL, showed that the company acceded to the demands of the unions.
“Staff of BASL are free (as they have always been) to exercise their right at association by indicating their willingness to join any of the aviation unions.
“The management shall deduct and remit check-off dues as required by law.
“The 27 members of the union who were laid off shall be recalled without loss of pay or service and deployed to where their services are required within the Resort Group.
“Thereafter the company intends to declare them redundant and is willing to discuss their redundancy benefits with the unions in accordance with Section 20 of the Labour Act.
“We hope that the union shall appreciate the olive leaf being offered by BASL and accept same with a view to ending this imbroglio,” BASL said in the document obtained by NAN.
NAN observed that staffers of airlines, banks, food court as well as travelers were seen carrying out their businesses without any harassment from union members.
Kingsley Ezenwa, media and communications manager, Dana Air, also confirmed the airline’s resumption of flights at the MMA2, which is Nigeria’s only privately owned terminal.
Ezenwa said: “We have resumed flights from MMA2 following the agreement reached by MMA2 and the aviation unions.
”We thank the management of BASL, operators of MMA2 for considering the economic implications and for putting national interest first in resolving the industrial action.
”We also wish to thank our teeming guests for their total understanding and cooperation in the course of our temporary relocation to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) and we hope to continue offering the best of our services which we have come to be known for.”
NAN reports the unions had since the early hours of Wednesday embarked on the protest over the alleged sack of 27 employees who indicated interest to unionise by BASL.
The unions were: The Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).
Despite a subsisting court order issued by Justice I. N Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos restraining them from the action, the unions had shutdown flights and business activities at the MMA2.
Airlines affected by the action included Arik Air, Medview Airline, Azman Air, Max Air, Dana Air and Aero Contractors who operate flights from the terminal.
The airlines were forced to temporarily move their passenger boarding and processing to the GAT, operated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) during the 2-day protest by union.
We had reported that some aviation unions in the morning of Tuesday, October 10, marched on the Murtala Mohammed International Airport and shut down the local wing better known as the MM2.
According to reports, the union members shut down the MM2 in protest against the sack of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited staff who joined aviation associations.
Hundreds of passengers were reportedly stranded as protesting aviation unions shut down operations at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 operated by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited.
The unions embarked on the protest alleging BASL’s sacking of 27 employees who indicated interest to unionise