Posted by Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos | 21 November 2017 | 1,132 times
Scores of passengers of Dana Air were stranded for hours following an industrial action embarked upon by pilots and engineers of the airline.
The strike by the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) grounded flights operations by the airline for almost 10 hours as all the morning flights to Abuja, Port Harcourt, Uyo, among others could not go.
The strike was premised on the refusal of Dana Air to allow members of its staff to join the union even as they accused the airline of anti-labour practices.
The Dana Air management in a reaction however described the strike as illegal even as it denied allegation of casualisation of workers.
At about 11 a.m. when our correspondent visited the Murtala Muhammed Airport terminal two (MMA2), some members of the union were seen dancing to the loud music from the Public Address System which they brought to the venue.
Daily Trust correspondent also observed stranded passengers of the airline sitting quietly on top of their luggage while some lamented the flight disruption.
One of the passengers who identified herself simply as Mrs. Ayuba said her Abuja flight scheduled for 10:00 a.m. remains uncertain as there were people who had been at the airport as early as 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. but they were not sure of when the flights would depart.
Light refreshment was also provided for the passengers at the departure hall.
However, an agreement was later reached between the management and the union after a meeting coordinated by the Commissioner of Police, Lagos Airport Command, Besan Gwana.
The airline which resumed flight operations around 3 p.m apologized to its passengers for the “slight delay” experienced as a result of the flight disruption even as it described the action of the union as illegal.
“We wish to also state clearly that reason given by the union for their illegal action this morning is entirely false, baseless and malicious as there is no such thing as ‘casualization’ of staff at Dana Air”, the airline said in a statement by its spokesman, Kingsley Ezenwa.
He however expressed the readiness of the airline to continue “to engage the unions in the most civil manner and hope that the unions learn to be constructive in their activities by supporting the efforts of the Federal Government and our sincere efforts towards the betterment of the aviation industry”.
He said the airline is a law-abiding company but it cannot foist unionism on its staff. “We understand what freedom of association means, and we expect the unions to know better,” the spokesman said.
“The activities of these unions have only led airlines to the precipice and it is appalling what they seek to achieve by illegally disrupting our flights,” Ezenwa added.
Also the Police Commissioner speaking through the command’s PPRO, Joseph Alabi, urged the parties to respect the agreement reached. (Daily Trust)
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