Aviation workers suspend strike hours after grounding international flight at Lagos airport

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The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) staff members have suspended their industrial action embarked on in a bid to demand for salary increases.

 

The aviation workers, under the aegis of the national union of air transport employees (NUATE) and air transport services senior staff association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), said the management of NAHCO had commenced negotiations with its workers.

 

Frances Akinjole, deputy general secretary, ATSSSAN, disclosed this to journalists on Monday.

 

“It has been suspended, and they have agreed to commence negotiation on the salary issue with us,” Akinjole said, giving updates on the strike.

 

Flights at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport were disrupted earlier today when the NAHCO staff members walked out of the international airport.

 

Several passengers were stranded at the international airport, moving about helplessly with their luggage.

 

The development grounded both inbound and outbound flight schedules.

 

Prior to the suspension, the management of NAHCO had held an emergency meeting to work out a payment plan for the striking staff members.

 

The company later confirmed that it was engaging with the striking aviation unions to end the flight disruptions experienced by passengers.

 

In a statement, Olusola Obabori, group executive director, NAHCO, expressed “regret [for] all the inconveniences”.

 

He said some of its clients were being put through a difficult situation by the “insistence of some staff to embark on a strike action despite a subsisting order of court which restrained them from doing so”.

 

Obabori added that the company was already engaging the unions and other stakeholders and was positive the situation would be resolved within hours.

 

“We understand the power of negotiation. The company which has arguably the best welfare package among the local players in the aviation industry will do all that is absolutely necessary to make its workforce happy even as it delights its customers,” he said.

 

“This situation would be resolved speedily as it is detrimental to the staff, the company and its esteemed clients.”

 

Last week, NUATE and ATSSSAN gave a five-day notice of strike to NAHCO management citing slow progress in negotiation for salary review.

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