The rift between the management of Skyway Aviation Handling company, Ltd (SAHCOL) and the unions including National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) has deepened further with the unions’ call to disrupt services of the companyover the reported sack and remand of four union officials in the company.
The unions issued a notice the union shall stop the services of its members in SAHCOL until the company recalls the sacked workers, Aminu Kolawole – Chairman, ATSSSAN, Chukwu Jude – Chairman, NUATE, Immoto Lawson – Secretary, ATSSSAN, Kingsley Ejiogu – Secretary – NUATE resumes and concludes Conditions of Service.
Olu Owolabi, CEO SAHCOL
The union which demanded unreserved apologies tendered to its officers accused SAHCOL of trying to destroy the industrial harmony, safety and peace that has pervaded the aviation industry with unnecessary crisis and chaos in the industry.
Trouble started when both unions accused the ground handlers of stifling the agitation of workers in the company for improved welfare; arresting and detaining the labour leaders in the organisation.
This they claimed the company did by arresting four leading union officials of the two unions
The unions said that they were asked to report to the office of the General Manager, Human Resources where their photographs were to be taken by the company’s photographer for placement in the newspapers while the Airport Police Command were formally invited to carry out their arrest simply for refusing to sign letters of dismissals prepared against them for undisclosed offences.
The union in their most recent statement said: “It is inhuman to note that while workers are sacrificing to keep the organisation performing, the management has consistently wickedly demonstrated anti-workers hostilities and impunities; it cannot negotiate better wages for employees, yet donate a Hundred Million Naira to the last PDP Presidential campaign, it pays thirty thousand Naira to workers yet expends Five Hundred Thousand Naira on newspaper advert for the birthday of its General Manager, Human Resources.”
“We are disturbed to think that management of SAHCOL may be acting a dubious script to create crisis in the aviation industry since any industrial action by the unions would not only affect Airline operations but also invoke untold hardships on the general public.”
Last week while reacting to some of the unions claims, the management of SAHCOL in a statement signed by its General Manager, Communication, Basil Agboarumi said the company placed so much value on the welfare of its staff and as a result since the privatisation of SAHCOL in 2009, the Management of SAHCOL had ensured that salaries were paid as at when due, while every staff was aware of the move by the Board to carry out a review of staff incentives after the completion of the new warehouse project.
“However, recently, we have issues involving some of our staff with regards to gross misconduct, acts which can lead to loss of revenue to the company, publication of inciting/derogatory material on the company’s Notice Board, discrediting the office of the Managing Director/CEO with the intent to incite the workforce against the Management.
“These individuals were invited for a meeting with the Management through a memo dated 13th April, 2015 and they failed, neglected and refused to attend the meeting which amounted to gross insubordination and wilful disobedience to constituted authority as enshrined in SAHCOL’s Condition of Service.
“In addition, they were invited to appear before a Disciplinary Panel through a memo dated 22nd April, 2015, and they also refused to attend,” Agoarumi said.
He said SAHCOL considered these issues extensively and therefore submitted that the behaviours of the officers amounted to gross misconduct as the relevant sections of conditions of service indicate.
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