By Lawani Mikairu
Turkish Airline was yesterday prevented from operating its scheduled flights from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos following a directive by the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, to its members not to render service to the airline.
The union said their decision is due to the airline’s failure to reverse the sack of some executives of the union working with the airline.
In a notice to aviation workers signed by NUATE General Secretary, Ocheme Aba, the union said members should withdraw their services to the airline with effect from October 29, 2020, indefinitely and throughout Nigeria.
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According to Aba, the union was piqued by the action taken by the airline despite a clear injunction from the Ministries of Labour and Aviation that the workers should be restated.
He said: “Accordingly, all aviation workers, including ground handling, aviation security and logistic personnel are hereby directed to withdraw all services from the airline until all sacked exco members are reinstated unconditionally, and without loss of pay or service”.
It would be recalled that the trade union umbrella organisation, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had in August given an ultimatum to Turkish Airlines and two other aviation companies to reinstate all workers it had fired or face a shut-down.
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President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the companies had two weeks to reinstate all workers, or the NLC “will not hesitate to mobilise the weight of the entire Nigerian workforce.”
Wabba also said the NUATE executives were fired for fighting for the rights of Nigerian workers, and that the sacking was aimed at “frustrating unionization” and “to enslave Nigerians
The action of the union led to many passengers of the airline to be stranded as they were seen with their luggage at the entrance of the terminal as there were no signs that the airline would be allowed to operate as at the time of filing this report.