Aviation unions disrupt flights at Lagos Airport

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Flights operations at the new domestic terminal Two of Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA2) , Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday as aviation union members blocked entrance into the terminal with their vehicles.

Sequel to the blockage of the entrance into the terminal, many airline staff could not access the facility to process early morning flights.

Sources hinted that many passengers had to find their way to the old domestic wing – General Aviation Terminal ( GAT) axis of the airport.

Airlines affected by the disruption include : Dana Air , Arik Air, AZMAN Air , AeroContractors and Medview Airlines.
The action by the unions was a violation of a court order restraining them from stopping operations at the MMA 2 terminal managed by Bi – Courtney Aviation Services Limited( BASL).

Confirming the development , spokesman of BASL , Steve Omolale said the unions have violated the laws of the land by going ahead to disrupt flights at the terminal.

The unions are protesting against the sack of their members by BASL.
Meanwhile normal flight operations are on going at the GAT, where Arik  Air and Air Peace operate from.

Only yesterday,  the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos granted an order restraining the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) from disrupting the operations of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2).

The court granted the order restraining the three unions from carrying out their threats of disrupting the activities of the terminal from this morning in the suit filed by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of MMA2.

The unions had given notice that they would disrupt operations at MMA2 from today over the disengagement of some workers of BASL who they said were disengaged for their alleged attempt to join them, but who the company said had attained retirement age or were found not to be diligent in their duties.

But a statement issued by BASL yesterday said, “we will like to bring it to the attention of the entire public that the Federal High Court in Lagos in suit number FHC/L/CS/16412/18 has granted an order restraining the unions from carrying out their threats of disrupting the activities of the terminal. Pursuit to this order, members if the unions found in the premises of MMA2 would be liable to trespass. We reserve our right under the law of Nigeria to deal with such person as a trespasser”.

BASL also assured customers and passengers of MMA2 that they will continue having seamless access to the facility.

The statement said: “BASL is fully aware of the plan by some unions in the aviation sector to disrupt the operations of MMA2 over our decision to disengage some employees. Disengaging the ex-employees had nothing to do with unionism, as we were not aware of this. In as much as we know that the unions have the right to protest without disturbing public peace and safety, we too reserve the right to ensure that our operations and services are not interrupted in any way whatsoever.

“Despite the fact that we have bent backwards, even beyond our contractual obligations, to resolve the matter of the ex-staff amicably, the unions are still adamant in their resolve to disrupt the operations of MMA2. Any attempt to carry out this lawless act despite the subsisting court order would be viewed seriously and considered as an act of economic sabotage targeting a concession which they constantly tried to truncate. And as a law-abiding corporate citizen, we will do everything possible within the ambit of the law to protect our facility.

“We wish to use this opportunity to assure our numerous customers, including all the airlines operating from our terminal, and the passengers that MMA2 will remain open for business, as every measure has been put in place to ensure that security and safety is maintained for the flying public.”

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