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Life returns to airport as unions suspend strike


Unions in the aviation sector have called off their two-day industrial action that paralysed activities Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.
 
The strike was targeted at Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) which was accused of sacking some members of staff.
 
The suspension of the strike followed the signing of an agreement by the leaders of union and BASL management.
 
The agreement was brokered by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and airport security agencies.
 
Mr Sam Jaja, Deputy President, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria(ATSSSAN), confirmed the suspension of the picketing after the union members’ meeting with negotiators and BASL.
 
Jaja said BASL had agreed to reinstate the sacked workers and also give recognition to unions in the sector, as well as ensure right of workers to belong to unions of their choice.
 
According to him, it was also agreed that an inter-ministerial committee should be set up to look into unionism among private organisations in the aviation sector.
 
The unions had since the early hours of Wednesday embarked on the protest, over the alleged sack of 24 employees who indicated interest to unionise by BASL, operators of the MMA2 in Lagos.
 
The unions involved were ATSSSAN, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).
 
Despite a subsisting court order issued by Justice I. N Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos restraining them from the action, the unions had shut down flights and business activities at the MMA2.
 
Airlines operating from the terminal affected by the action include Arik Air, Medview Airline, Azman Air, Max Air, Dana Air and Aero Contractors.
 
The airlines were forced to temporarily move their passenger boarding and processing to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), operated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) as the action lingered.