Aviation workers have embarked on a peaceful protest in all airports across the country over an “obnoxious” legislation seeking to prevent trade unions in the sector from demonstrations.
The protest, which commenced on Monday morning led to heavy gridlock in some parts of the country, including Lagos state.
Ben Nnabue, president of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), who confirmed the development to TheCable, said the protest is simultaneously taking place in all the airports in the federation.
He said the workers are demanding the removal of a clause establishing aviation agencies that seeks to prevent trade union from protesting.
He added that the union has given the federal government a 14-day ultimatum for them to look into their demands, else, the workers would embark on a strike which would possibly shutdown airport activities.
“Sometime last year, we went to the national assembly to amend the act establishing the agencies, so that it would be more progressive. There was one obnoxious clause that talked about trade unions not going on strike,” Nnabue said.
“We were shocked that before they sent it to the president for assent, those clauses were maliciously inserted. So we have to fight for them to remove it. That’s the whole idea.”
On whether the union would ground airport activities, he explained that workers are only protesting peacefully and airport activities are not affected.
“It is a peaceful demonstration. It is after now and they didn’t hear us or didn’t look at our demands, then we get to the level of grounding the operations of airports.
“We have given government 14-days ultimatum to look at our demands, after which we now do what is called strike.”
Also speaking on the issue, Hope-Ivbaze Faithful, acting general manager, corporate affairs of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), stressed that airport activities are still on going.
“It’s a peaceful demonstration. So, it’s not disrupting anything. They’re demonstrating in respect of the FAAN act that is proposed by the government to be removed,” she said, confirming the protest in Lagos.