NigerianFLIGHTDECK’s check of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Act 2006 has revealed that the unions were 16 years too late in discovering contents within the Act as the clauses they are about to protest on have been in existence since
Joint unions including the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria( ATSSSAN), National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers( NAAPE) planned a peaceful demonstration from Monday September 12, 2022 and a total industrial action after a 14 day period in a bid to tackle a perceived threat to their existence. READ MORE: Unions to protest ‘smuggled’ repressive clauses into Aviation Acts to proscribe unionism
They claimed some obnoxious clauses were recently added to the Aviation Bill presented to the president to accent into law.
The unions have also said the clauses maliciously added by the powers in the industry not only to prohibit trade union activities in the aviation industry in Nigeria but totally obliterate aviation unions.
However, a check of the CIVIL AVIATION (REPEAL AND RE-ENACTMENT) ACT 2006 section 67 (1) and (2) on page 40 the same clauses were etched:
“67. (1) All services which facilitate and maintain the smooth, orderly and
safe take off, flight and handling of aircrafts and the, disembarkation and
evacuation of passengers and cargo respectively in all aerodromes in Nigeria are hereby designated as essential services pursuant to the
provisions of section 11 (I) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“(2) The Minister may by regulations prohibit all or such class or classes of workers, officers and other employees of persons whether corporate
or natural, engaged in the provision of the services specified in subsection (1) of this section from taking part in a strike or other industrial action. (3) In this section, “strike” means the cessation of work by a body of persons employed, acting in combination or a concerted refusal or a refusal under a common understanding of persons employed to continue to work for an employer in consequence of a dispute, done as a means of compelling their employer, or the Government of the Federation of Nigeria or any part thereof, or to aid other workers in compelling their employer or any persons or body of persons employed, to accept or not to accept terms of employment and physical conditions of work or any
government economic policy or pricing of any essential product; and in
this definition –
(a) “cessation of work” includes working at less than usual speed or with
less than usual efficiency without reasonable operational justification;
and (b) “refusal to continue to work” includes a refusal to work at usual speed or with usual efficiency.
The unions had accused unknown persons in the aviation sector added the ‘regressive’ clauses to the Bills the National Assembly transmitted to the President for assent describing what was happening as the Ministry of aviation trying to interlope on the responsibilities of the Ministry of Labor stressing that the move is self-serving and intended to cause problems
With plans to commence their protest on September 12, Comrade Ocheme Aba who spoke on behalf of other unions demanded,”As the leadership of the Senate and House Committees on Aviation have denied knowledge of the obnoxious clauses in the bills, it has become absolutely necessary to identify how these clauses found their ways into the Bills transmitted to the President.
Recall that during the public hearings in the Aviation Committee of the House of Representatives, issue of essential service was responded to by the National president of NAAPE who drew attention to a National Industrial Court ruling on the matter, to the effect that Comrade Aba further stressed that the matter was rested at that, but said it was baffling, how the clauses mentioned above found their way surreptitiously into the Bills.
The unions insisted that the culprits be exposed and punished stressing that obnoxious clauses are in heavy conflict with prevailing national and international laws (as ratified by Nigeria) and cannot find a hiding place in an aviation conclave.
As it stands currently, in other not to fall victims to their own contraptions, the unions need to be sure of their arguments before embarking on a journey that may mar the body.