ATSSSAN threatens serial disruption of operations at MMA2

The Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) has threatened to commence serial disruption of operations at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Terminal 2 (MMA2), Lagos, over unlawful termination of appointments of 26 workers for joining a trade union.

To this end, the union has advised all domestic airline operators utilizing facilities at MMA2 Lagos to make alternative arrangements to avert unscheduled disruption of operations at the terminal.

In a communique issued after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, ATSSSAN condemned in the strongest terms the manner by which the management of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) ingloriously terminated the appointments of 26 of its staff who voluntarily joined the union.

The NEC also condemned the deliberate frustration of the efforts of some government agencies, such as the State Security Services (Airport Command), the Airport Police Command, the Military Commandant (MMIA Airport) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA); by the management of Bi-Courtney; to resolve the crisis.

“To this end, the NEC resolved that if the management of Bi-Courtney does not recall the terminated staff and allow unfettered unionisation of willing staff of the company within 2 weeks from the date of the publication of this communiqué, ATSSSAN shall embark on a series disruption of operations at MMA2 until the management of BASL complies with its demands.

“The NEC, therefore, advises all domestic operators utilising facilities at MMA2 Lagos to make alternative arrangements to avert unscheduled disruption of operations at the terminal;” the communique signed by the President of ATSSSAN, Comrade Ahmadu Ilitrus and the Deputy General Secretary, Comrade Francis Akinjole, said.

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On the issue of unionisation of workers in the aviation industry, union said it would no longer tolerate a situation where airlines and other licensed air transport and allied aviation services providers doing business in the industry deny workers their constitutional rights to freely join unions of their choices in the aviation industry.

The NEC reminded airlines and other aviation businesses of their obligation in law to comply with the provisions of the extant Labour laws, failing which the NEC mandated the leadership of ATSSSAN to use all resources within its means to defend the constitutional rights of all aviation workers.

The NEC charged the Minister of Labour and Employment and the Minister of State (Aviation) to intervene in this important matter by calling the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of all airlines and allied aviation services providers to comply with the laws of the land, by allowing unions free access to organise willing aviation workers.

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The NEC th, therefore,solved that after six months from the issuance of this communiqué, ATSSSAN will engage any management that does not allow free and unfettered access to unionisation of its workers.

The NEC also expressed strong reservations on the decision of the Federal Government to concession the four (4) major International Airports (MMIA Lagos, Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja, Port Harcourt Airport and Aminu Kano Airport, Kano), operated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

On the reasons for their opposition, ATSSSAN said the four Airports are the main sources of FAAN Revenue, and if the government succeeds with the concession of the airports, the entire operations of FAAN will collapse.

Besides, the union stated that FAAN has huge pension liabilities and will not be able to settle its pension obligations to retirees, while safety at the airports will be compromised

Also, it emphasized that salaries of the over 6,900 staff scattered around the 22 airports presently managed by FAAN would be compromised.

It also added that concession of Airports will lead to high airports charges in the affected airports which will affect airlines, and by direct implication, results in high air ticket prices.

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Source:: TribuneOnilne

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