Aviation unions cripple NAHCO operations in Lagos
The unions in the aviation sector on Monday grounded operations at the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc for several hours over staff welfare issues.
The aggrieved workers staged a rally at the headquarters of the ground handling company at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, temporarily halting operations at the office.
The workers, who carried placards with various inscriptions, accused the company’s management of not negotiating with their unions on the salary increment granted them and being insensitive to their welfare issues.
Mr Olayinka Abioye, General Secretary, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), told newsmen that the amount approved as increment for the workers was far below what the unions had demanded.
Abioye said, “the workers demanded for 40 per cent salary increase, but the management after the approval from the Board of Directors went ahead to increase their salaries to between seven and 10 per cent without recourse to their unions.”
He alleged that there had not been salary increase in the ground handling company in the past three years, while hundreds of the workers had not been promoted in nine years.
Abioye also debunked the claim that the management had increased workers salaries by 15 per cent for junior staff, eight per cent for middle cadre staff and three per cent for management staff.
He said: “Under the labour practice, the management and the unions ought to have sat together to negotiate what would be the new take home pay of NAHCO staff, but they didn’t do that.
” The management only called the in-house union to inform them that a certain percentage had been approved for them as salary increase.
“These workers have been so pauperised as there was no promotion of hundreds of these workers in the past nine years.
“What was announced was between seven and 10 per cent, which angered the workers because the management never negotiated with the unions before coming out with the salary scale.”
Abioye also accused the company of engaging in casualisation of workers against the labour law.
Mr Tayo Ajakaye, the spokesman of NAHCO, told newsmen that the issues raised by the workers and the unions would be addressed by the management.
He explained that the management would continue to negotiate with the unions and the workers for the benefit of all.”