10 January 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – Officials of aviation sector unions on Tuesday prevented the cabin crew of Ethiopian Airlines and Arik Air from gaining access to the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The unions include the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Traffic Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).
The officials, who stationed themselves around the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) gate, said they were there to ensure the effectiveness of the nation-wide strike, organised by Labour against the Federal Government’s removal of fuel subsidy.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Civil Society are behind the strike, which commenced on Monday, in protest against the removal of the subsidy on January1, causing the pump price of petrol to skyrocket from N65 to N141.
NAN recalls that several foreign airlines operated flights on Monday, but this did not go down well with the unions.
Mr Abdulkareem Motajo, Secretary-General of NUATE, told journalists on Monday that they would ensure total compliance with the strike order on Tuesday.
However, some Chinese expatriates in a coaster bus, with registration number BX 974 AKD, escorted by security personnel, were allowed to catch their flight following the intervention of an ACP with the Airport Police Command, Mr Omololu Bichi.