Aviation Union demands retraction of ‘essential service’ clause in assented Civil Aviation Act

Posted by News Express | 12 September 2022 | 226 times

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•Protesting aviation workers


Aviation workers union on Monday protested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja to demand the retraction of a clause in the Civil Aviation Act, 2022.

The union said the clause in the Act seeks to classify aviation workers as essential service providers.

The union explained that the clause would impede their rights as workers.

The workers who marched from the international wing of the airport to the gate carried placards with different inscriptions.

The placards had various messages such as: “Buhari don’t assent to anti-union aviation bill/act”, our voices must be heard, protest is our right’, ‘when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty.”

The FCT Council Chairman of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Dauda Nambol who spoke to journalists said the protest was imperative following the unlawful clause inserted into the Aviation Bill.

He explained that classifying them as essential workers mean they would be exempted from all the instruments of their actions.

He also added that classifying them as essential workers was anti-labour.

“We are comrades and this is our right’ as workers. If we feel dissatisfied over any issue, we have the right to protest and we will not allow anybody to take away that right”, Nambol said.

The union gave the federal government two weeks to retract the clause.

The controversial clause inserted into the bill for an act said, “1(1) All services which facilitate and maintain the 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 according to the provisions of Section 11(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered).

“(2) The Minister may by regulations prohibit all or such class or classes of workers, officers and other employees or persons whether corporate or natural, engaged in the provision of services specified in subsection (1) of this section from taking part in a strike or other industrial action.

”2(1) The provisions of the Trade Disputes (Essential Services) Act, Cap. T9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 shall apply to service in the Agency, facilities managed by the Agency and in the implementation of this Bill.

(2) 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.” (The Nation)

Source: News Express

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