Flights grounded as workers block Lagos airport over sack of members


Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) barricaded the “Terminal 2’’ building of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos on Tuesday to the chagrin of air travellers.

The association’s action grounded flight operations and left air travellers stranded.


The union barricaded the terminal building to deny access in a protest against the sacking of some of its leaders by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operator of the terminal building.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Oct. 14, the BASL sent 34 of its staff members on mandatory leave of absence.


It said the action was “to allow management to assess the efficiency of the new terminal building and allowances will be paid during this period’’.

Two weeks after, on Oct. 28, BASL gave the affected workers, which included the chairman, secretary, treasurer and women leader of the senior staff association letters of termination of appointments.

Passengers travelling through the airport lamented the situation.

Mr Abiodun Dipo who had 7 a.m., flight to Abuja, expressed his displeasure about the situation.

“The disagreement between the union and terminal building operator can be resolved in civil ways other than blocking the airport and leaving passengers to suffer untoward hardship.

“What is my business in the fact that both of them have issues to resolve? But then, I have missed my flight to Abuja which has come at a cost,’’ he said.

Mrs Sade Fadipe, who was at the airport with her two-year-old son, also lamented the situation.

“I had an important medical appointment for my son, but I have missed the appointment because of something that has absolutely nothing to do with me.

“There are better ways to resolve issues and not by making everyone suffer for something we have absolutely no idea. So who would compensate us for their failure?’’ she queried.

Meanwhile, ATSSSAN has declared a strike action against BASL and withdrew its services, according to Mr Frances Akinjole, the Deputy General-Secretary of the union.

He stated that the ATSSSAN viewed BASL’s actions as victimisation of union executives and members who made demands for their rights.

Akinjole noted that the union’s attempts to negotiate with the BASL to recall its affected members to work had met with brick walls. (NAN)

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