Aviation workers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja also joined their counterparts in the protest against the new Aviation Act which they claimed usurped their rights to association and protects.
They protested against which saw the unions wall through the major roads at the airport said the classification of aviation workers as essential services providers in the new Act is anti-labour and must be rescinded by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The workers who took their protest from the international wing of the airport up to the gate carried different placcard saying “Buhari don’t assent to anti-union aviation bill/act”, our voices must be heard, protest is our right’, ‘when injustice becomes law resistance becomes a duty’
The State Council Chairman of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE). Abuja Comrade Dauda Nambol said that the protest was premise following the illegal clause inserted into the Aviation Bill before ascent by Mr. President.
He explained that classifying them as essential workers means that they would be exempted from all the instrument of their actions, they would not be allowed to carry out strikes, picketing or lock-out , saying these are the instrument of their struggles as enshrined in the International Labour Organization (ILO) convention.
“We are comrades and this is our right’ as workers if we fill dissatisfied over any issue we have the right to protest and we will not allow anybody take away that right.”
Nambol stated warned that after the peaceful protest they are given the government two-weeks to retract the clause, saying failure to do so, they would use all the available instrument to ensure they achieve their struggle.
The controversial clause inserted into the bill for an act said, “1(1) All services which facilitate and maintain the smooth, orderly and safe take off, flight and landing of aircraft, embarkation and disembarkation and evacuation of passengers and cargo respectively in all aerodromes in Nigeria are hereby designated as essential services pursuant to the provisions of Section 11(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered).
“(2) The Minister may by regulations prohibit all or such class or classes of workers, officers and other employees or persons whether corporate or natural, engaged in the provision of services specified in subsection (1) of this section from taking part in a strike or other industrial action.
” 2(1) The provisions of the Trade Disputes (essential Services) Act, Cap. T9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 shall apply to service in the Agency, facilities managed by the Agency and in the implementation of this Bill. (2) There shall be no strikes, lock-outs, pickets, blockades, service disruptions, etc of any kind within all facilities managed by the Agency and where any labour dispute arises, such dispute shall be resolved by the Agency.