Assistant General Secretary, National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, Mr. Olayinka Abioye, yesterday told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, that the union will picket Virgin Atlantic Airline within the next 15 days over last year’s sack of 20 Nigerian workers.
The airline had in November 2015 laid-off its cabin crew comprising of 20 Nigerians.
The workers, however, had dragged the airline to the Federal High Court in Lagos over their disengagement, alleging that it violated extant labour laws in the country.
“Irrespective of what the individuals or a group has done by taking judicial action, that does not stop the union from playing its role in the matter.
“As from next week, we are putting machinery in motion to go and picket Virgin Atlantic Airline.
“This will send a strong message to Richard Brandson that Nigeria of 2009 is not the Nigeria of 2016.
“As a pointer to other employers of labour in the aviation sector, we are going to picket Virgin Atlantic Airline in the next 15 days, so they should go and prepare,” Abioye said.
Abioye said that the affected workers were recruited by a company called Aviation Logistics and Management Limited and outsourced to the airline.
He said: “Coincidentally, that company has a relationship with NUATE.
“A formal notice has been given to the employer, a formal trade dispute has also been declared against the company.
“We have had discussions with Chief John Adebanjo, who is the Chief Executive of ALML.
“It is, therefore, our belief that the only way to get out of the situation is to sit on a round table with the union.”
Abioye said that the union would no longer condone the shabby treatment and violation of workers’ rights by employers in the sector.
“We want these companies to follow the labour laws in Nigeria and get them unionised.
“We have seen that many of our people are working under harsh conditions. Even where they are unionised, we know how workers are being treated,”he said.

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