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The lingering face-off between the representatives of Nigerian workers, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Turkish Airways assumed another dimension as the workers’ union has concluded plans to picket the airline over alleged violations of workers’ and trade union rights.
Consequently, the NLC has arrived at a decision of the NEC of Congress to picket the airline Tuesday March 30, 2021. The union in a schedule of the exercise stated that the action would start from the access toll gates of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, and the Abuja airport toll gates.
The union, in a picketing notice signed by NLC President, Ayuba Wabba said it would mobilize the Nigerian workforce to picket the operations and facilities of Turkish Airlines owing to ‘several and severe violations of workers’ and trade union rights’.
He disclosed that the NLC and its affiliate unions in the aviation sector had written several letters to the management of the airline on the issue of workers’ and trade union rights, adding that these violations especially manifest in the sack of trade union leaders working in Turkish Airlines.
Wabba further stated that the labour leaders were sacked for demanding compliance with Nigeria’s labour laws that grant workers the right to join trade unions of their choice and participate in trade union activities.
He noted that the management of Turkish Airlines had also rebuffed with ‘utter disdain conciliatory efforts made by Labour and the Ministry of Aviation’.
The unilateral sack of executive members of NUATE working with Turkish Airlines, he said is particularly distressing, adding that these workers were sacked for fighting for the rights of Nigerian workers in Turkish Airlines and the action of the airline is very reprehensible.
“We wish to remind Turkish Air that unionized workers cannot be punished or sacked for participating in trade union activities. This action is aimed at frustrating unionization in Turkish Airlines and to enslave Nigerians working with Turkish Airlines.
“The anti-labor practices in Turkish Airlines constitute fundamental infractions on our Constitution and labor laws and gross disrespect to Nigeria. Section 40 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution guarantees freedom of association including the right to join and participate in the activities of trade unions”.
“Furthermore Section 12 subsection 14 of Nigeria’s Trade Union (Amendment) Act 2005 provides for voluntary membership of trade unions and stipulates that no worker should be victimized for joining a trade union or participating in the activities of a trade union. We posit that the sack of NUATE executives working with Turkish Airlines violates their human and trade union rights,” Ayuba said.