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Airline vs. Union: Turkish Airlines Defends Dismissals, Cites Gross Misconduct and Financial Impact of $600,000

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Turkish Aircraft

Turkish Airlines has responded to allegations made by the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) regarding the dismissal of seven employees, stating that the union’s claims are unfounded and that the airline has suffered significant economic losses as a result of the union’s actions.

According to a statement released by the airline’s media relations department, the employees were dismissed due to various ticketing reservation violations, which caused the airline a loss of over $600,000. 

The airline claims that the union was involved in the disciplinary process and that the employees were found to be liable for gross misconduct.

The airline stated that three of the seven employees opted to voluntarily resign, while the remaining four declined to do so, adding that, the union, however, threatened to paralyze the airline’s operations in Nigeria by way of industrial action if the employees are not reinstated.

“Despite the clear and undisputable evidence of wrongdoing, the Union has continuously threatened to paralyse the Airline’s operations in Nigeria by way of industrial action if the employees are not reinstated”. 

The airline says, it instituted proceedings in the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) to determine the legality of the union’s actions but despite this, the union proceeded to execute their threats to picket, barricading the airline’s check-in stations at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos State, and preventing passengers from boarding for over two hours.

Explaining further, the airline said, the NICN subsequently issued formal notices of injunction restraining the union from conducting any industrial action that disrupts the airline’s business, unfortunately, the union has continued to disrupt the airline’s operations, forcing the cancellation of flights.

“After the institution of this suit at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) and after service had been effected on the Union on 9 February 2024 and while motions for injunction were pending before the Court, NUATE proceeded to execute their threats to picket. 

Turkish Airlines has expressed its commitment to the interests of its passengers and employees, stating that it has always encouraged its employees to participate in any union of their choosing and has sought to work harmoniously with all governmental and non-governmental bodies in Nigeria.

The airline has, however, expressed its intolerance for the union’s illegal and wrongful actions, which it claims have caused serious financial losses and has vowed to exercise all its legal rights regarding the matter.

“We would like to respectfully announce to the public that the Airline has no tolerance for this and all similar illegal and wrongful actions and will act accordingly and exercise all its legal rights regarding the process”.

The public is advised to be aware of the airline’s stance on the matter and to exercise caution when dealing with the union’s claims.

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