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FG To Enforce Ban on Strikes By Aviation Workers, Apologises To Air Travellers

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Federal Government on Wednesday said it would enforce the relevant laws banning strikes by Aviation Workers in the country.

Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, said this while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa.

According to him, “aviation is an essential service, the Act has been assented to by Mr. President so strikes and riots around our airports are prohibited by the laws of the land.

“And now that we have the Act in place and passed by Mr president and passed by the National Assembly. So we will deal with it according to the law. We will ensure no essential service is being disrupted by anybody no matter how aggrieved”

The Minister, who apologised to air travellers over the strike, stressed that such would not happen again, saying, “first, we apologize to them, our teeming passengers in this difficult moment.  Secondly, this will not happen in the future by the grace of God.

On Monday, local and international flights were disrupted for several hours as workers under the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) declared a warning strike over poor pay.

Earlier, the aggrieved workers had sued a five-day notice to NAHCO Management while demanding 100 per cent increment following general review of handling charges

He noted that there are other channels of presenting issues when they arise and not through strikes

Sirika said, “they (aviation workers ) are not permitted to go on strike because aviation is an essential service and is by the law of the land now.

“I will give you an example, there was an airline that had to return to base because it couldn’t land. Imagine if there was a patient on that aircraft? Imagine somebody attending to a very serious issue or matter at hand or business or a student trying to catch an exam and then because of somebody who is aggrieved some other person will die.

“Government will no longer allow that. So it’s in the law of the land, check the FAAN Act, it’s been assented to and it’s going to take place soon, in fact now, from today we will not allow that.

“Our ears are always open, the government is open to listen to any grievances and there are procedures for dealing with this kind of grievances. They should please desist from this, it is wrong, it is inhuman, it is not allowed, it is not permitted and will not be permitted any longer”, he added

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