- BASL declares it is not in violation of any Nigerian laws
Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) has alleged that management of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) operators of Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2 (MMA2) has laid off 37 workers including 34 union members after failing to implement Conditions of Service it signed with them in 2021 issuing them a seven (7) Day ultimatum to comply with certain demands or else…
This is just as BASL noted that it has complied with all laws of Nigeria regarding issuance of compulsory ten days leave of absence to branch executive officers and members of its union saying it has always been very dutiful towards its staff, while stressing that facts are sacrosanct.
NigerianFLIGHTDECK gathered from correspondence between both BASL and ATSSSAN the terminal operators on October 14, 2022 reeled out 37 names, and gave them forced 10 days “leave of absence”, with a guarantee that all their entitlements would not be tampered with.
However, after two weeks on October 28, 2022, BASL management gave all of them, including our branch chairman, branch secretary, branch treasurer and branch women leader termination letters.
A letter issued to a staff in the Aviation Security (AVSEC) Department of the MMA2, titled Leave of Absence read: “Kindly note that you are to proceed on a 10 days leave of absence with effect from 14th October, 2022. This is to allow management to assess the efficiency of the Terminal Operations.Salaries and allowance will be paid during this period.”
ATSSSAN in response to this letter wrote BASL through its Principal Deputy General Secretary, Comrade Frances Akinjole titled: Issuance of Compulsory 10 Days Leave of Absence to Branch Executive Officers and Members of our Union in Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited Not Acceptable.
According to the missive, ATSSSAN expressed disbelief and utter shock the letters issued to its branch executives and members directing them to proceed on compulsory 10 days paid
leave of absence with a strong warning that they keep off the BASL MMA2 premises within the stated period.considering they were still in negotiations over the CoS for 9 months now.
ATSSSAN declared in the letter that: “We view your 10 days leave of absence letters to our Executives and members as a clear victimization of members who have made bold demands for their rights. In the light of the above we demand as follows: The payment of terminal entitlements to all deserving staff without further delay.
“The withdrawal of the 10 days leave of absence letters issued to our affected branch Executives and members. We have made it clear to the BASL management that
if they resolve to undertake staff rationalization, we as a Union are ready to engage them in discussions, but we will never accept intimidation and victimization of our members in the manner Management is going about.
Relying on our pending ultimatums and notices in respect of some of our pending demands, we hereby avail Management seven (7) days from today, within which to comply with above demands, failing which we will do all that we deem expedient in the circumstance.
Responding, BASL acknowledged receipt of ATSSSAN’s letter dated 17th October, 2022 and stated it has done the needful as an organization.
The statement read,“We have paid all allowances as and when they fell due. We have made our statutory pension contribution to the retirement saving accounts of our workers without fail. We have the health insurance scheme for our workers and their family member and we have always paid premium as and when it is due. We also have a life insurance scheme for our employees”.
“During the prevalence of COVID-19 when all businesses were shut down, we paid a substantial percentage of salaries to our staff during the lock down. As soon as lock down eased, we paid the balance of salaries to all our staff. We were informed that we were probably the only organization in the aviation industry that extended this gesture to its staff during COVID-19”.
BASL noted that even in the letter of the union dated September 17, 2022, the union stated that both parties are bound by the signed document.
“We totally agree with the position and are bound by the signed document. The document was signed on June 16, 2021 and in accordance with the law of the land and became effective on June 16, 2021. Going forward, we will pay the terminal benefits as provided in the agreement from that day”.
The company further disclosed that it had presented the letter of appeal to the Board of the company with the Board coming to a conclusion that going outside the agreement signed with the Association would be unlawful.
“It may expose us to litigation from stakeholders in the venture. The Board has warned against making payments that are not within the law of the land. We continue to be available to work harmoniously towards creating a conducive atmosphere between the Board, management and members of staff”.