BASL, Labour Resolve Dispute, Recall Sacked Workers

Chinedu Eze

Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) has announced that it has reached a resolution with the Air Transport Service Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN) and has recalled the workers whose sack prompted labour to picket its terminal, MMA2 on Tuesday.

In a statement, the Head of Corporate Communications at Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, BASL, Oluwatosin Onalaja, said that early in the morning on Tuesday November 1 2022, an unannounced protest was staged at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2) by members of aviation unions and stressed that this impacted heavily on scheduled flights and other operations, with early morning passengers left stranded.

BASL stated that the union barricaded the entrance and exit gates of the terminal and prevented customers, concessionaires and other members of staff from gaining entry, “an act that industry watchers described as high-handed and unlawful.”

“BASL remains alarmed by the unlawful conduct of the union members who were able to disrupt the legitimate business operations of a major public institution without due notice. They disregarded appeals from the Nigerian Police Force and an existing court order restraining them from doing so.

BASL disclosed that in a letter written to the company’s management, the unions alleged that their members were laid off without regard to due process, but BASL said that it has always adhered strictly to global best practices and the rule of law.

“BASL is a highly disciplined organisation that has always paid salaries and allowances as and when due, even through the toughest of times. We paid salaries in full throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, a rare gesture in Nigeria. We provide robust welfare packages for our entire workforce and their dependants. We have consistently implemented these from inception, and we will never relent in doing so.”

“A resolution was reached on the same day of the strike action, after a stakeholders’ meeting mediated by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. The stakeholders’ meeting concluded that the staff should be recalled on the clear instruction that they should not report to work. The issue of appropriate severance package will be mediated between the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, the unions and BASL.

“The alleged outstanding salary, which is for October 2022, due at the end of October 2022 and thus not a delayed salary, should be paid and has since been paid by BASL,” the company said.

Speaking further, Onalaja on behalf of BASL management, commended the support received from key stakeholders and the patience and understanding from customers and clients, saying “We assure you that your safety and comfort remain our utmost priority at all times.”

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