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Striking workers shut Abuja airport



Aviation activities were shut down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja on Monday following the nationwide strike declared by organised labour over minimum wage.

Mr Samuel Wuyep, Chairman of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN), Abuja chapter, confirmed this our reporter in Abuja

According to him, The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) had declared the strike action to press home their demand on implementation of new minimum wage for workers.

He said the NLC and TUC had directed aviation service providers, airline operators and all aviation workers nationwide to embark on strike from early hour of June 3.

“The strike has a lot of impact here. Airport is not a place you are going to joke about, at all.

“All airports all over the federation are shutdown. Though, we don’t have a clear dichotomy between military and civil aviation but the civil aviation operators have shutdown their services.

“Passengers that came into the airport were stranded outside. They were not allowed to gain access into the terminal building. Even if they come in, nobody is there to attend to them,” he said.

Wuyep said that all the service providers were closed down and services of aviation workers had been temporarily stopped.

He added that other affiliates and the assistant agencies within and outside the airport were equally observing the strike.

“So, we are on top of the game. We are hoping that the government will do something so that everybody will go back to his working place and everything will be normalised,“ he said.

According to him, medical workers in NAIA were equally gradually shutting down their services.

Wuyep said that some staffers that went to the clinic were sent back, adding that all agencies under the NLC and NTC were in total compliance with the strike.

He said the passengers that came were calm and observed the rules of the game, as nobody harassed or chased them away.

Wuyep, however said that only the international flights were given the leverage to land for now.

“Right now, the international flights are given the leverage to land. Already, they are coming from far destinations, and the time difference between Nigeria and such countries is something you cannot reverse.

“Most of them were airborne in Nigerian airspace before the commencement of the strike. Therefore, we will definitely allow them to land. They are landing and departing.

“But, the grace of today is given to them. After today, by tomorrow, all their services too will be grounded. So we expect the Federal Government to do something,” he said.

Gabriel Agbeja

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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