THE Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN has demanded for the immediate release of its members by the Directorate of State Security in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
The union in a petition to the director general of State Security Services dated 7 July 2015, signed by the general secretary of ATSSSAN Captain Tarnongu condemned the detention of their members.
The petition reads” its our great expectation that you would deploy your good office to redress this wrong by ordering the immediate release of our members who are being conspiratorially detained by your officers in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. May we remind you that under a democratic society, rule of impunity is strongly frowned at”
The general secretary of ATSSSAN explained that the crises started when members of the ATSSSAN and NUATE at Akwa Ibom Airport Development Company, IADCL embarked on strike to express their grievances to the management’s high handedness, mismanagement of the airport, unpaid wages and allowances and desperate transfer of 150 specially trained staffers to ministries and departments outside the airport.
He stated that the management OF IADCL has been displaying unparalleled anti union attitudes adding a Barrister Idara Etim, the resource administrator in a memo directed that no worker should join any union as the state government has not approved any form of trade unionism while workers already in the union were given February 12 to renounce their membership or face disciplinary action.
The union while stressing that their members have the right and freedom to join and belong to unions, disclosed that the IADCL has planned to spend $34m to train workers to replace those redeployed to ministries.
Tarnongu noted that it was a grand scheme to corruptly mismanage the state tax payers money.
According to him, “to our chagrin however, security agencies were dragged in to a purely industrial relations matters that been mediated on by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity yet the Management remained recalcitrant and refused to honour all hallowed agreements. The Police arrested five of our members while the DSSS arrested three others. Our Lawyers were able to secure the release of members picked up by the Police but the Directorate in Uyo arm-twisted the judiciary in the State to get a back-door order permitting the Directorate to detain three of our members till 18th July, 2015. It is imperative to add that the business of aviation all over the world is never micro-managed, there is nothing like Akwa Ibom aviation standards but there are only global standards as set out by ICAO. We are determined to make sure that these standards are maintained as well as those of industrial relations set by ILO”.

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