Gridlock as aviation workers block access roads to Lagos airports
Aviation workers, on Monday, blocked access roads to both
the international and domestic wings of the Murtala Muhammed Airports in Lagos,
in protest of poor working conditions and entitlements.
The situation has led to serious gridlock along Airport Road
in the Ikeja axis of Lagos, with the entrance of the Murtala Muhammed Airports
Terminal Two (MMA2) being mostly affected.
An airport official disclosed that while entry roads
have been blocked, airlines’ flights operations are still going on as
“Airports are not closed. Flights are boarding as
scheduled,” the source said.
“Passengers are not prevented from coming in and out either.
Only access road was blocked against vehicular movement.”
Last week, aviation unions announced plans to embark on a
warning strike over the failure of the federal government to meet their demands
minimum wage and other sundry issues.
The unions involved are the National Union of Air Transport
Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria
(ATSSSAN), and the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP).
Others are the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and
Engineers (NAAPE), and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil
Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees.
Specifically, the workers are demanding the approval and
implementation of the agreement condition of service, (CoS) as agreed between
them and the Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), and the office of
the head of civil service of the federation.
Others are the non-implementation of minimum wage
consequential adjustments and arrears for the Nigeria Meteorological Agency,
(NiMet) since 2019 and the planned demolition exercise of all the agency
buildings in Lagos by the minister of aviation for an airport city project.
Speaking on Monday at MMA2, Abdulrasaq Saidu, secretary
general of ANAP, said it was high time the government adhered to their terms.
He said the unions were tired of the non-responsiveness of
the federal government to their grievances.
According to Saidu, workers in the aviation sector have had
to go through several challenges which had lingered for the past seven years.
“For the past seven years, it is time to free the aviation
workers from the yoke of imperialism, bad governance and too much corruption in
the industry without addressing workers’ welfare,” he said.
“So today, we say, enough is enough and that is why we have
this strike. The strike continues tomorrow even if the security authorities get
involved. We have no arms, we are civil.”
Earlier on Monday, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria
(FAAN) of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) chapter, advised
travellers and stakeholders to make contingency plans to avoid missing their
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