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Aviation workers suspend strike

Air passengers both local and international can now heave a sigh of relief as normalcy is gradually returning to airports across the country as seamless passenger facilitation has commenced.

This is coming on the heels of the suspension of strike by aviation unions over the review of salaries of its members in the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company, NAHCO.

The strike was called off after three hours meeting between the unions, the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, and the management of the company.

Flight operations were grounded on Monday morning following the industrial action embarked on by the staff of NAHCO over failure to review their current salaries since June 2022.

Flight disruption due to the strike left scores of passengers both local and foreign stranded at the Lagos airports which spilled over to airports across the country.

Speaking on the strike, Secretaries General of the Unions in NAHCO, the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, Comrades Ocheme Aba and Frances Akinjole noted that its members embarked on the strike because the NAHCO management handled their seven-day ultimatum with kid gloves.

According to them, the management also continued to play on their intelligence through rescheduling of purposeless meetings.

In an agreement reached at the end of the meeting, all staff have been directed to resume work immediately, negotiation of all workers’ welfare to start Wednesday this week and NAHCO management decided to withdraw the suit and vacate the earlier court order obtained.

Reacting to the strike, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Mr. Nnaji Nnolim earlier in a statement had appealed to the unions and management of the company to dialogue and avert further disruption to aviation activities.

Mr. Nnaji urged the union to douse its agitation and show concern for the pains the action would bring on innocent Nigerian travellers both locally and internationally.

Responding to the development, the Group Executive Director, NAHCO, Dr. Olusola Obabori said, the Company engaged the Unions and other stakeholders because they understand the power of negotiation.

Reporting by Nosa Aituamen; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade & Daniel Adejo