• Friday, June 21, 2024
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International flights undisrupted as unions again shut down local airports


International flights operations on Tuesday morning continued as local airports remain shut down following the indefinite strike action declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) over the Federal Government’s refusal to raise the proposed minimum wage from N60,000.

Passengers who had planned to board flights to different local destinations are still barred from boarding their flights as aviation unions locked the entrance gates to the domestic terminal of the Lagos airport.

Airlines scheduled to take off from Lagos and Abuja airports were denied access to the terminals, thereby crippling flight operations.

In a letter sent on Sunday by the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, (ANAP) signed by Abudul Rasaq Saidu, secretary general of the association, he stated that they are aware of the complaints and hardship being faced by all working class people “but in spite of the masses outcry the federal government did not reason to do the needful to pay acceptable wages.”

Saidu further stated that “the non-challant attitude of the national assembly on the face-off between the organised labour and the federal government is ridiculous and very unacceptable.

The letter stated that “in light of the aforementioned, all ANAP members and indeed all aviation workers are hereby directed to stay away from work at midnight of Sunday, 2nd June 2024 as directed by both the NLC and TUC till further notice.”

Unions carrying placards and banners were stationed around the domestic terminals in large numbers to press home their demand.

BusinessDay’s findings show that the situation at the Abuja airport mirrors that of Lagos, as unions also barricaded the terminal entrances. Travellers were advised to return home, awaiting resolution between organised labour and the Federal Government.

In a statement by the United Nigeria Airline on Monday, it disclosed that none of its scheduled flights have been permitted to depart the airport significantly affecting its services and operations.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to your travel plans. Please be rest assured that we are actively monitoring the situation to evaluate its impact on our operations and will provide updates accordingly,” the airline stated.

Ibom Air also said it was unable to dispatch any of our scheduled flights to your various destinations because of the strike action.

“Ibom Air regrets to inform our esteemed passengers that, due to the ongoing nationwide labor strike, we are unable to dispatch any of our scheduled flights to your various destinations.

Air Peace through its X handle stated that it was only able to operate its regional and international flights and all local flights were grounded as a result of the strike action.

BusinessDay learnt that the aviation unions would be joining the National Executive Council meeting by 9pm on Tuesday to reach an agreement on the minimum wage issue.

Sources say the strike may be called off today if the federal government, the TIC and NLC reach a favourable conclusion.