Aviation unions, namely, National Union of Air Transport Employee, NUATE, National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professional, ANAP, have joined the Five days warning strike declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, to compel the Kaduna state government to rescind it’s decision to sack workers. The Kaduna International Airport workers , chanting solidarity songs, barricaded the gates of the airports in compliance with the industrial action which started from midnight of Sunday, 16th May 2021 and will run till midnight of Friday, 21st May 2021. According to the unions, the Kaduna State government has flouted ” the civil service laws and is unconstitutional to sack civil servants before they serve their mandatory 35 years or reach 60 years age limit”.
Speaking about the strike action, First Deputy National President of NUATE, Comrade Salisu Lawal, representing National President, said NUATE joined the strike in solidarity with the workers of Kaduna State because ” an injustice to one is an injustice to all. If you are sacking people more than five you have to sit down and negotiate. The Governor first sacked over 2, 500 local government workers and the labour laws state that if you are sacking more than five you have to sit down and talk with them on how to pay redundancy, they didn’t do that”. Comrade Lawal wondered why Kaduna State which has one of the highest Internally Generated Reenue (IGR) is refusing to do what is right adding that the solidarity is going to continue till Friday unless there is another directive from the NLC.
Also speaking, General Secretary, NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba, who was in Kaduna to join the industrial action said : ” What is important is when you go home and your wife and children ask why you are doing this you can explain very well. The Kaduna state government has violated several laws . Section 20 of the labour Act provides that if you are going to declare workers redundant , you must first show good reason why you want to carry out the redundancy and second, if you show good reason, and their unions agree with you then you must negotiate their redundancy benefits. Don’t forget , not terminal benefits, but redundancy benefits. You must also not forget that terminal benefits are already established by the conditions of service. That’s not subject to negotiation, you pay the terminal benefit then you pay the negotiated redundancy benefits so he has not done any of that.”
“He has violated public service rules that state that a worker is entitled to work for 35 years or till 60 years whichever comes first. He has unilaterally fixed 50 years.” In a release on Saturday jointly signed by Comrade Ocheme Aba, General Secretary, NUATE , Comrade Umoh Ofonime, Deputy General Secretary, NAAPE, and Comrade Abdul Razaq Seidu, General Secretary, ANAP, the unions informed their members to stay Off their duty posts at the Kaduna International Airport with effect from 12 midnight Sunday till Friday 21st, May. The release read : ” We are constrained to inform you that in compliance with the industrial action declared by the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, in Kaduna state, our unions as above shall proceed to effect the action as from midnight of Sunday 16th May to Friday 21st May, 2021. Accordingly, all workers at the Kaduna Airport have been directed to withdraw all services at the airport within the stipulated period. In effect, there will be no operations of any kind into, at or out of, the airport within the period.” This information is provided to enable your management take the necessary action to safeguard valuable properties within the vicinity of the airport”, the unions advised.