By Sandra Orim
Activities at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos and other major airports across the country were paralysed on Monday due to the two-day warning strike embarked upon by some aviation unions.
The unions are the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Seniors Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (NAPA), National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) and Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE).
BUSINESS METRICS gathered that the airport was in total lockdown, even as some of the passengers were seen carrying their luggage on their heads to catch flights out of the state.
It was gathered that the workers blocked the road leading to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, a development that inevitably left many air passengers stranded.
What aviation workers are demanding
The strike follows a meeting called by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority which ended in a stalemate on Sunday.
The Director-General, Civil Aviation, Capt. Musa Nuhu, called the meeting aimed at prevailing on the unions to shelve their planned two-day warning strike with representatives of the unions in attendance.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Dr Emmanuel Meribole, was also at the meeting.
The unions comprising the National Union of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria; the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers and the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals, are demanding, among other things, that the planned demolition of aviation agencies’ headquarters in Lagos be halted.
They are also advocating the implementation of the conditions of service signed with the staff of the aviation agencies.
The Deputy General Secretary of ATSSSAN, Frances Akinjole, in a short interview last night after the meeting said, “As I am talking to you, nothing has changed. If you don’t hear anything from the General Secretary, the strike continues.”
Activities at Airport Affect
Video footages on Twitter show that traffic is being affected around the airport Monday morning because the workers blocked the airport road
A source in the airport told The PUNCH that the protest was not affecting operations as the workers just blocked the airport road.
@eonsintelligenc, in a tweet accompanied with pictures, partly stated, “Aviation workers union has commenced a nationwide protest over the non-implementation of the new condition of service.
“Roads leading to the airports have been barricaded.”
Airport Advises Travellers
However, Operators of Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, on Twitter, advised travellers on the strike action, identifying possibility of delays and flight disruptions.
“Due to the ongoing aviation union strike action, there may be flight delays and disruptions.
“MMA2 continues to operate on a best effort basis. Kindly check your map for traffic information and check with your airline for your flight status,” it said in tweet on Monday.
Earlier, it said in a statement that MMA2 was monitoring the situation closely and would keep all customers and terminal users informed of flight schedules delays or possible disruption.