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Bi-Courtney ‘blackmails’ industry over recall of 20 sacked workers as unions prepare for showdown

IT would seem that the imbroglio between Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited ( BASL) and unions in the aviation industry over the sack of 20 of the airport concessionaire’s staff have degenerated, taking another twist.

BASL is demanding that to reinstate the sacked workers, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) should prevail on the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN) to hand over the General Aviation Terminal ( GAT) to it as well as give them approval to commence regional flights from their terminal.

Nigerianflightdeck.com gathered documents that indicate the BASL gave conditions to the committee set up to midwife peace between them and the union over harassment of NUATE and ATSSSAN workers.

According to the document, BASL states that for it to continue further mediation its six point demands must be met.

At the NAMA Stakeholder’ interactive Forum General Secretary of NUATE, Olayinka Abioye emphasised that the terminal manager was blackmailing the industry but that in seven days, the unions will shut down operations at the terminal.

Abioye said,”there is a dangerous trend going as as Management of BASL is blackmailing the industry, insisting that FAAN hands over the GAT to it and NCAA approves regional flights from its terminal before it reinstates the workers it illegally sacked because they joined the union.”

” Honorable Minister, I believe someone should educate them on the labour laws of this country and make them understand that we are well within our rights and in seven days, we will exercise that right if those workers are not reinstated.”

However, the Minister of State, Aviation, represented by the permanent secretary, Alhaji Saibu Zakari appealed to the unions to exercise restraint and be patient that the issue would be resolved.

The unions, terminal operator, security agents as well as mediating committee were supposed to meet on the 10th of July but on the 5th, the committee received a letter from BASL introducing the new twist.

The BASL six-point demands read,” They (BASL) were prepared to discuss with the disengaged staff without any intermediary by the union and NCAA. They would appreciate NCAAs intervention in all pending issues between BASL and other aviation bodies rather than treat the complaints of the unions in isolation.”

“That NCAA should prevail on FAAN to hand over the GAT to BASL in accordance with the terms of concessioning agreement and presidential directive to the minister. That the unions disregard the law and constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to suit their interest.”

” pathway they had obtained provisional approval to operate regional flights from MMA2 on two occasions but NCAA failed to grant them approval despite the fact that they’ve met the conditions and finally that their position on further mediation by NCAA is subject to addressing all issues raised in 1-5 above.”

With all these, the industry is set for another showdown as the 7-day ultimatum is ticking.

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