The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has disclosed plans to picket Turkish Airlines today over alleged violations of workers and trade union rights.
Emerging from a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, NLC decided on the clampdown, which will affect the airline’s offices at both Lagos and Abuja international airports.
The Guardian learnt that the protest is not unconnected with the dismissal of unionists in the airline, who had insisted that the airline honour labour rights.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, yesterday said NLC would mobilise the Nigerian workforce to picket the operations and facilities of Turkish Airlines owing to alleged “several and severe violations of workers’ and trade union rights”.
Wabba 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.
He explained 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”.
“We wish to remind Turkish Air that unionised workers cannot be punished or sacked for participating in trade union activities. This action is aimed at frustrating unionisation in Turkish Airlines and enslaving 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, sub-section 14 of Nigeria’s Trade Union (Amendment) Act 2005 provides for voluntary membership of trade unions and stipulates that no worker should be victimised 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.