The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji has condemned the picketing of Airpeace Airline’s counters in Lagos on Wednesday by the officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress, (TUC) to disrupt Owerri flights.
The workers’ action which was in retaliation to the last May Day face-off with the Executive Governor of Imo State’s, Senator Hope Uzodinma which resulted in the inability of the Imo workers to observe this year’s labour day celebrations.
Nnaji expressed shocks that a matter that happened in Owerri could cause the leadership of trade unions to invade Nigeria’s premier gateway, Murtala Mohammed International Airport, (MMA), Lagos.
The Committee Chair further emphasized that airports are security zones that shouldn’t be exposed to such unnecessary breach, adding that the action of the workers could affect the certification of the airport.
He also reminded the workers that the newly promulgated Civil Aviation Acts (Sections 40 and 41) have categorised them under essential service providers stressing that by the new Acts, dialogue has become their only means of resolving disputes.
Nnaji equally expressed concerns over the hardships the Airpeace passengers had to go throughp and the attendant losses the airline incurred as a result of the ugly incident.
He added that it was important for the workers to appreciate the challenges confronting the industry especially the airlines noting that the loss of over N700 million claimed by Air peace due to the action was regrettable.
He urged the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) management to put up measures that would checkmate such occurrence in future even as he counselled the unions to avoid carrying out their grievances to airports in future.