- Unions Shut Down Caverton Helicopter’s Operations
The Air Transport Services Association of Nigeria and the National Union of Air Transport Employees on Thursday brought the flight operations of Caverton Helicopters nationwide to a halt over the disengagement of about 150 workers by the company.
The unions said the sacking of the workers over alleged redundancy despite ongoing negotiations on new condition of service for workers was against Section 20 of the Nigeria Labour Act, adding that the company’s operations would remain grounded until their demands were met.
The unions were said to have stormed the company as early as 5:30am, barricading the entrance with their vehicles, while the major gate leading to the premises was locked with chains and padlocks.
The General Secretary, ATSSSAN, Francis Akinjole, said the unions expected the management of the airline to call for a meeting before taking any action.
The General Secretary, NUATE, Olayinka Abioye, also said the sacking of the unions’ members was illegal, adding that the company’s management should have finished the ongoing negotiations of a new condition of service with the unions before disengaging any worker.
He said, “The management has a right to lay-off its staff, but such must be carried out in accordance with the Nigerian labour law.
“Some people in the helicopter company want to turn Nigerians working in there into slaves, which we will not allow. You cannot leave negotiation to go and do another thing. That is called anti-labour.”
The company’s Warri and Port Harcourt offices were also said to have been taken over by the unions.
Order was, however, restored at the Lagos office when teams of the Rapid Response Squad from Alausa and policemen from the airport were invited to restore peace.