By Chukwuemeke Iwelunmo
Aviation workers union in solidarity with Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have served a notice to the Federal Ministry of Aviation, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), airlines and other users of the plan to shut the Port-Harcourt International Airport as they declare massive action against Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
The unions were irked that the government of Rivers State embarked on the purchase of N484 million SUVs for Federal lawmakers despite owing pensioners and workers in the state.
Three of the vehicles are said to be for the senators, while 13 are for the House of Representatives members. Governor Nyesom Wike, on Monday, released the vehicles in Port-Harcourt to two federal lawmakers who were around, according to a Government House press statement.
The NLC accused the governor of what they termed, ‘extremely provocative and unwarranted assault on workers and the trade union movement by the Governor’.
The union made up of NLC and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has directed the complete withdrawal of workers’ services throughout the State.
The aviation unions made up of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) and Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) which are all affiliated to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Air Transport Services Senior Staff of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) ,an affiliate of TUC and operating together as Joint Aviation Unions (JAU) have equally declared their support for the showdown against the state government.
According to them, “Accordingly, and in effecting the aviation component of the NLC directive, notice is hereby served to all concerned; the Federal Ministry of Aviation, FAAN, NCAA, airlines (domestic and foreign), airport services providers, and airport users (especially air travellers) that the domestic and International wing of the Port-Harcourt Airport, Omagwa, will be completely inoperative as from 00hrs on 8th September 2020”.
“We will embark on the strike action by withdrawing workers’ services at the two terminals, until otherwise directed by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria”.