Aviation workers, on Monday, blocked access roads to both the international and domestic wings of the Murtala Muhammed Airports in Lagos, in protest of poor working conditions and entitlements.
The protest led to serious gridlock along Airport Road in the Ikeja axis of Lagos, with the entrance of the Murtala Muhammed Airports Terminal Two (MMA2) being mostly affected.
An airport official told TheCable that while entry roads have been blocked, airlines’ flights operations are still going on as scheduled.
“Airports are not closed. Flights are boarding as scheduled,” the source said.
“Passengers are not prevented from coming in and out either. Only access road was blocked against vehicular movement.”
Last week, aviation unions announced plans to embark on a warning strike over the failure of the federal government to meet their demands minimum wage and other sundry issues.
The unions involved are the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), and the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP).
Others are the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees.
Specifically, the workers are demanding the approval and implementation of the agreement condition of service, (CoS) as agreed between them and the Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), and the office of the head of civil service of the federation.
Others are the non-implementation of minimum wage consequential adjustments and arrears for the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, (NiMet) since 2019 and the planned demolition exercise of all the agency buildings in Lagos by the minister of aviation for an airport city project.
Speaking on Monday at MMA2, Abdulrasaq Saidu, secretary general of ANAP, said it was high time the government adhered to their terms.
He said the unions were tired of the non-responsiveness of the federal government to their grievances.
According to Saidu, workers in the aviation sector have had to go through several challenges which had lingered for the past seven years.
“For the past seven years, it is time to free the aviation workers from the yoke of imperialism, bad governance and too much corruption in the industry without addressing workers’ welfare,” he told TheCable.
“So today, we say, enough is enough and that is why we have this strike. The strike continues tomorrow even if the security authorities get involved. We have no arms, we are civil.”
Earlier on Monday, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) chapter, advised travellers and stakeholders to make contingency plans to avoid missing their appointments.