Aviation unions to stage peaceful protest over clauses in CAA Monday



Posted by Sade Williams


Ahead of the 14-day ultimatum, Aviation unions including the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) , will on Monday , stage a peaceful protest at all Nigerian airports over what they called the “obnoxious” provisions in the newly signed Civil Aviation Act (CAA) which gives the Minister of Aviation express power to prohibit trade union activities.

The unions had at a briefing on Friday, informed that it was giving concerned authorities gave a 14-day ultimatum from Monday to correct the anomaly or face a total shut down of the sector.

General Secretary of NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba, who briefed newsmen explained that the issue of proscribing union activities did not come up during the public hearings organised by the Joint National Assembly committees on Aviation before the Bills were passed.

According to him, the new civil aviation Act transmitted to the President for assent stated that “all services which facilitate and maintain smooth, orderly and safe take off, flight and landing of aircraft, embarkation and disembarkation and evacuation of passengers and cargo respectively in all aerodromes in Nigeria are hereby designated as essential services pursuant to the provisions of section 11 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered).

Also the Act was said to have provided that there shall be no strikes, lock-outs, pickets, blockades, service disruptions, etc of any kind within all facilities managed by the agency and where any labour dispute arises, such dispute shall be resolved by the agency.

President Muhammadu Buhari had last week, signed the new Civil Aviation Act into law out of the six aviation Bills recently passed by the National Assembly.

But the unions said they have discovered that the new Act assented to by the President contained provisions classifying aviation agencies as rendering essential services while empowering the Minister to prohibit industrial action by unions.

Ocheme had said, “For all intents and purposes, the above stated provisions represent an effort at repression and oppression.”

The statement issued and signed by the union representatives on Sunday, was copied to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos Airport and the Directorate of State Security Services