Protesting aviation unions disrupt traffic at Lagos airport

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A protest by aviation sector unions over the unfair treatment of their members by Caverton Helicopters Limited has resulted in the blockage of the access roads leading to the international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA).

The unions comprise the National Union of Air Transport Employees ( NUATE) and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN).

Already traffic has built up from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) access gate and is stretching to the domestic terminal with most passengers forced to trek to the airport to board their flights.

“The unions are protesting unfair treatment of their workers by Caverton Helicopters, a situation that has continued to drag on for years,” one of the protesters told our correspondent.

“We have vowed to continue to block the roads until Caverton management listens to us.”

Efforts by the Lagos Airport police to persuade the protesters to allow the smooth movement of vehicular traffic along the airport road were rebuffed by the unions.

our correspondent learnt that trouble started when Caverton Helicopters declared some of its workers redundant in February 2019 and told them they would be paid on March 29, only for the airline to go against the agreement and refuse to pay the workers while those who got paid received just one-quarter of their severance benefits.

It was however learnt that the situation was made worse when the management of Caverton Helicopter, according to the union, drafted in policemen from the Rapid Response Force (RRS) Lagos command who tried to bundle ten of the protesting workers into a black maria. It was learnt that one of the workers who resisted the police was beaten up and left with scars, a development that further infuriated the workers.

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