Passengers of Dana Airlines were stranded at the airport for closed to 10 hours due to an industrial action embarked upon by pilots and engineers of the airline. The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) grounded flights operations. All Morning flights to Abuja, Port Harcourt, Uyo, were affected.
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The reason for the strike was the refusal of Dana Air Managment to allow members of its staff to join the union even as they accused the airline of anti-labour practices. While Dana Air management had described the strike as illegal also denied the allegation of casualization of workers.
At the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Passengers were seen lamenting on the disruption of their flight. One of the passengers who identified herself simply as Mrs. Ayuba said her Abuja flight scheduled for 10: 00 a.m remains uncertain as there were people who had been at the airport as early as 6: 00 and 7:00 am but they were not sure of when the flights would depart.
It took the intervention of the commissioner of Police Lagos Airport Command, Besan Gwana who spearhead a meeting between the management and union and both parties reached an agreement.
Flight operations resumed at about 3 p.m, The airline apologized to its passengers for the “slight delay” experienced as a result of the flight disruption even as it described the action of the union as illegal.
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“We wish to also state clearly that reason given by the union for their illegal action this morning is entirely false, baseless and malicious as there is no such thing as ‘casualization’ of staff at Dana Air”, the airline said in a statement by its spokesman, Kingsley Ezenwa. He, however, expressed the readiness of the airline to continue “to engage the unions in the most civil manner and hope that the unions learn to be constructive in their activities by supporting the efforts of the Federal Government and our sincere efforts towards the betterment of the aviation industry”.
He said the airline is a law-abiding company but it cannot foist unionism on its staff. “We understand what freedom of association means, and we expect the unions to know better”, the spokesman said.