By Favour Nnabugwu
Aviation unions under the aegis of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) today joined the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) shut down Kaduna Airport in compliance with the strike action declared organised labour against Kaduna State Government.
Kaduna airport workers were seen on Monday barricading the gates of the airports in compliance with the industrial action which started from midnight of Sunday, 16th May 2021 to midnight of Friday, 21st May 2021 and chanting solidarity songs.
According to the union, the reason was not unconnected to flouting the civil service laws and unconstitutional sacking of civil servants before they serve their mandatory 35 years or reach 60 years age limit.
First Deputy National President of NUATE, Comrade Salisu Lawal representing national president said the essence of NUATE joining in the strike is in solidarity to the workers of Kaduna state because an injustice to one is an injustice to all.
“If you are sacking people more than five you have to sit down and negotiate. He first sacked over 2, 500 local government workers and the labour laws state that if you are sacking more than five you have to sit down and talk with them on how to pay redundancy, they didn’t do that.
Comrade Lawal questioned why Kaduna which has one of the highest Internally Generated Reenue (IGR) is refusing to do what is right stating that the solidarity is going to continue till Friday there is another directive from the NLC.
General Secretary, NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba, who was in Kaduna to join efforts at the industrial action added,”What is important is when you go home and your wife and children ask why you are doing this you can explain very well.
The Kaduna state government has violated several laws Section 20 of the labour Act provides that if you are going to declare workers redundant compulsory it is first of all you must show good reason why you want to carry out the redundancy and second if you show good reason, and their unions agree with you then you must negotiate their redundancy benefits.
“Don’t forget not terminal benefits but redundancy benefits don’t forget terminal benefits are already established by the conditions of service. That’s not subject to negotiation, you pay the terminal benefit then you pay the negotiated redundancy benefits so he has not done any of that.
“He has violated public service rules that state that a worker is entitled to work for 35 years or till 60 years whichever comes first. He has unilaterally fixed 50 years.