By Chinedu Eze
Aviation labour organisations, the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), have threatened to disrupt operations at the Nigeria’s busiest domestic terminal, the Murtala Muhammed Airport Termina Two (MMA2), Lagos, following the termination of services of some members of staff.
The unions gave the company one -week ultimatum, which expires today, to recall the 20 workers, alleging that they were sacked because of the major roles they played in the agitation for better welfare for the workers of the organisation under the unions.
Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of MMA2, in its reaction to the plan to close its operations described the threats as act of lawlessness by the unions.
A statement by the company in Lagos yesterday said: “The attention of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2) has been drawn to the activities of two of the unions in the aviation industry namely, the ATSSSAN and NUATE, which have threatened to disrupt operations of our terminal.
BASL said it was shocked by the threats of the unions “to further display acts of lawlessness against our organisation.
“It would be recalled that when the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) was handed over to our company in accordance with the Concession Agreement executed between our company, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), these two unions physically prevented us from exercising our constitutional and legal right of ownership of the terminal.
“Subsequent to this handover, the courts have confirmed that the terminal belongs to our company.
“It is interesting to note that the two unions, NUATE and ATSSSAN, actually challenged our ownership of the terminal in court in Appeal No. CA/A/141/M/09. The case was decided in our favour in the Court of Appeal on October 16, 2010. Their case was dismissed for lacking any merit whatsoever.
Bi-Courtney said it would do everything within the laws of Nigeria to enforce its right to peaceful existence and to
operate its business without any interference from meddlesome “interlopers.
“Contrary to their allegation that our members of staff had their service terminated because they threatened to join a union, these members of staff who were relieved of their appointment are staff who had either attained retirement age or who were found not to be diligent in their duties. We reserve the right to continue to improve the quality of our staff,” the company said.