Passengers have been left stranded after aviation workers in Nigeria began a two-day warning strike on Monday (today) which disrupted activities in airports.
The industrial action is over the non-release of their revised Condition of Service negotiated with four aviation agencies over seven years, as well as the planned demolition of their Lagos offices.
The workers have blocked the entrance to the domestic terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, grounding operations.
SaharaReporters had reported that airports across Nigeria would be closed for the next two days as a result of this strike.
The unions issued a notice last week informing their members to prepare for a warning strike on Monday, April 17th, and Tuesday, April 18th, adding that if the warning strike failed to achieve their demands, they would go on an indefinite strike.
They stated that they had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the aviation minister on the same issues on February 7, 2023, but that nothing was done about their complaints until the ultimatum expired.
The unions are the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), National Association of Aircraft Pilots (NAAP) and Engineers and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees.
The unions’ grievances include the failure to implement minimum wage consequential adjustments and arrears for the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) since 2019, as well as the refusal of the Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) and the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (OHCSF) to release the reviewed Conditions of Service of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT).
Airlines have also been concerned about the impact of the strike on their operations, with many frantically reaching out to union leaders for a resolution.
The Daily Sun spoke with Ola Banji, the spokesperson for Arik Air, about how the airline was preparing for the strike. He stated that the situation was still being monitored and that “when they reach the bridge, they will cross it.”