November 29, 2022

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ATSSSAN reaches truce with BASL, calls off strike

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Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two, MMA2, Ikeja, Lagos

The aviation unions have “sheathed their swords” and announced a cessation of the strike that disrupted operations at the MMA2 terminal for the better part of the day.

A memo from the national secretariat of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, to all its branches and other unions who solidarized with it in the picketing of MMA2 in the day, simply says, “the strike that was embarked upon today against the Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, BASL, has been called off”

The memo however revealed that truce was brokered “at a meeting empaneled by the Ministry of Labour & Employment; Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA; Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN; Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA and Airport Security Agencies”.

According to the memo, the unions’ agreement to cease picketing is contingent on the acceptance by the concessionaire to the terminal, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Ltd, BASL, “to recall the laid off members of our union and an undertaking to pay their salaries”.

The leadership of ATSSSAN expressed gratitude to all the unions in the nation’s aviation industry who stood by its members during the agitation for the protection of Nigerian workers as exemplified by those in the employment of BASL, managers of the MMA2 terminal.

ATSSSAN says, “Your unquantified solidarity is genuinely appreciated”

BASL NOTION OF UNIONS PICKETING

The organization in the eye of the storm, BASL, had later in the day vehemently condemned the unions’ action as illegal and “Contrary to laid down principles of industrial relations and in total violation of the laws of Nigeria”.

In the media statement from BASL and signed by one Oluwatosin Onalaja, Head, Corporate Communications, it claimed that “the alleged cause of this industrial action is our decision to lay off some of our staff who we consider unproductive”

“It is our inherent right to manage our business in the most prudent manner and we should not be intimidated by external forces as is being done in this case”, BASL management said.

Also, the demand of the union that BASL should adhere to the conditions of service the company signed in June 2021, was described as “retrospective and contrary to established rules of industrial relations and the laws of Nigeria”.

BASL statement accused the union of disregarding an order from a court of competent jurisdiction on the matter but continued the illegal picketing of the terminal.

The action of the union BASL management said it was a clear violation of court order and tantamount to an open invitation for disorderliness and anarchy.

The statement reiterated the resolve of the MMA2 concessionaire to “remain very law-abiding citizens and use this medium to apologize to all our clients and stakeholders for the totally unacceptable behaviour of the Unions, BASL management said.

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