Airport workers proposed strike threatens essential services

The proposed strike by staff of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) may threaten essential services operation at the airports following the breakdown of negotiation between workers unions and management of the company, National Daily has gathered.

It would be recalled that the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) have directed the staff of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) currently on essential duties to withdraw all services on the 1st and 2nd June following the breakdown in negotiations on their welfare.

A letter jointly signed by both General Secretary, NUATE, Ocheme Aba, and Deputy General Secretary, Frances Akinjole, said following the stalemated management–union meeting of Wednesday 20th May 2020 where management attempted to unwittingly reduce to a mere technical excursion their magnanimity of toning down unions’ demand from 80% to 50%, all NAHCO staff currently on essential duty are directed to withdraw services on the 1st and 2nd 2020 as a warning to the management of NAHCO.

“The situation will be reviewed after the second day to determine the continuation or otherwise. For the avoidance of doubt, we reiterate our stand that we shall accept 50% monthly salary for our members placed on unpaid leave as against senior management personnel who are paying themselves 80% of their own salary.

A close management source, however, explained that the ground handling company has always been prompt in everything they do, stating that the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the dynamics of things and has affected the company and many others adversely.

“What the unions are asking for is an ongoing issue and we believe in collective engagement. We don’t and won’t toy with the welfare of our staff and we will not stop engaging with them to get the best solution.

“With everything that has happened this year, embarking on an action that will further cripple the business that you want to get these benefits from will not help reach an amicable solution to the current situation we find ourselves,’ the source said.