Unions in the aviation industry this morning staged a peaceful protest at the Lagos Airport calling for the removal of some clauses in the Civil Aviation Act recently passed by the National Assembly.
The protest led to disruption of vehicular movement into the local and international airports coupled with the early morning downpour in Lagos. Also, the aviation agencies’ offices were under lock to prevent any staff from gaining access to their offices.
Executives of the unions and their members defied the early morning rain, chanted solidarity songs, and carried placards with different inscriptions that read: “Our strength is in our union, Aviation Ministry should not regulate labor”, “Our right to protest is covered under ILO Convention”, “Banning workers from unionism is evil” and others.
Addressing members of the unions in the various aviation agencies, Secretaries General of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Ocheme Aba said the clauses which forbade them from embarking on strike should be expunged before the Act is signed into law by the President.
Comrade Ocheme Aba emphasized that if their demands were not acceded to, the unions would have no option but to go on a full-blown nationwide strike in 14 days.
According to him, the Act is a ploy to deny workers in the aviation industry their fundamental human right of freedom of association and the right to speak up if certain issues are not in their favor.
Reporting by Nosa Aituamen; Editing by Marian Benjamin, Muzha Kucha & Annabel Nwachuwu