Passengers left stranded, flights postponed as aviation workers close down Lagos airport

Members of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) blocked the entrance gates of the Murtala Mohammed Airport 2 (MMA2) Terminal in Lagos on Tuesday morning to protest the “unjustified termination” of 34 aviation workers by the airport terminal’s operators, B-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL).

The scenario compelled airlines like Ibom Air and Air Peace to cease flying operations within the airport terminal.

Ibom Air stated in a notice to passengers that today’s scheduled flights into and out of Lagos will be significantly impacted by the union’s strike.

“We greatly regret the impact of this unexpected action on your day’s plans as we urge you to kindly stay close to all our communication channels for subsequent updates,” the airline said.

According to a notice of strike by ATSSSAN, those affected by the disengagement include the ATSSSAN Branch Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and Women Leader, who are said to have demanded “the payment of terminal benefits to staff members who exited the company lawfully in accordance with the signed Conditions of Service.”

The union stated that BASL Management acted at a time when the parties were discussing the aforementioned payment, and there was no indication that negotiations had broken down irreparably.

It viewed the dismissal as retaliation against its members and executives, who were only carrying out their constitutional responsibilities.

“In light of the above. ATSSSAN has declared industrial action against BASL and calls on all branches nationwide, as well as all professional association affiliated to ATSSSAN to withdraw services to all airlines operating into and out of the MMA2 Lagos immediately without fall,” said ATSSSAN Principal Deputy General Secretary, Frances Akinjole.

A spokesperson for BASL said the company initially engaged the union but there is no official response on the development as of press time.

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