Union Shuts Down Landover Hqtrs In Lagos Over Poor Condition Of Service, Inhuman Treatment
… As Company Pays Worker N340,000 After Serving For 15 Years
…It Is Unfortunate —ATSSSAN President
The Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) today shut down the headquarters of Landover Company at Medical Road, Ikeja, Lagos over poor Condition of Service (CoS), non remittance of workers pension and other welfare related issues.
Abelnewsng.com learnt that as early as 4.30am union members from Warri in collaboration with union members in Lagos shocked and locked out the management of the company including the shrewd businessman and Managing Director of the company, Capt Edward Boyo, preventing anybody from either going in or moving out of the premises.
It was further learnt that when Capt Boyo arrived, instead of pacifying union members, he made some utterances which the union members and even the Commissioner of Police Lagos State, Mr Fatai Owoseni were not comfortable with.
According to an eye witness, the CP had stopped by to know what was happening on seeing well armed Policemen at the premises of Landover Company with union members’, who had blocked the entrance of the gate singing solidarity songs.
The eye witness further stated that on learning that it was workers versus management issue, the CP was said to have tried to calm frayed nerves but that the Managing Director made certain comments, which the CP to enter his car and left.
At the entrance of the embattled company, union members were seen playing the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s with the title, “ITT International Thief Thief” with Policemen stationed at strategic locations in the event of any break down of law and order.
Union members were also seen carrying placards with the inscription ”We are workers and not salves, 15 years no gratuity no pay off , No anti labour practices, No proof of tax payment, Remit our pension and Enough of wrongful dismissal.”
As the union members were dancing and singing solidarity songs at the gate, Landover workers were seen gathering in and outside the premises discussing in low tones in twos the picketing of the company.
Speaking to journalists on the shutdown of the company, the National President of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Comrade Ilitrus Ahmadu, stated that the union came here following the irreconcilable differences between the union and the management of Landover Company.
He added that negotiation on the issue in question would have been concluded in March 2016 but that the company’s management walkout of the meeting to the surprise of the union.
Ahmadu said that the crisis between the union and management of Landover has to do with the welfare of Helicopter Landing Officers (HLOs), who according to the ATSSSAN President are affiliated to the union.
According to him, “In the Landover Group, we have the Helicopters landing officers, who are affiliated to the ATSSSAN and we are here this morning because of an avoidable situation that was mismanaged by the management. We have been in discussion with the management of Landover Company over review of Conditions of Services, which ought to have been ready since last 2016, but the management due to indiscretion dragged the process up till now. We have been talking, but there are few areas that we have not been able to agree, but they are fundamental areas covered by the laws. For instance, Landover says if they have a disciplinary committee to try our members, no union member should be a part of it. This is unheard of. The law requires that the union to which the officer belongs should be represented even in an observer capacity. We’ve been dragging this with Landover for a long time, but they don’t seem to agree.”
Speaking further, he said when the meeting was adjourned; the union was shocked when it returned to continue the meeting only to be told that Landover has referred the matter to Federal Ministry of Labour.
Ahmadu explained that at the Ministry of Labour, when Landover discovered that all the issues they were foot dragging on were non-issue, the management equally refused to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and walkout of the meeting.
“The last time we met here, we adjourned the meeting and we were shocked when we returned in the morning that the meeting could not go on because Landover has referred to the matter to the Federal Ministry of Labour and we were at labour, but when they discovered that all the issues they were foot dragging on are non-issues, they refuse to sign MoU and walkout of the meeting” he said
He lamented that a particular staff who have worked for 15 years was only given N340, 000 by the company not minding his level, adding that “ This is unfortunate and unacceptable for us.”
On the way forward, the President said, “The management should be ready to discuss the issue with the union
One of the company’s workers, who spoke to journalists on the condition of anonymity, narrated the in human treatment meted out to workers at Landover.
According to him, “We are protesting because of injustice going on in Landover and the inhuman conditions we are exposed to by the management. For instance, one of our senior members was sacked in this company for no just reason by the management and he has served here for 15 years and three months, he was paid only N340, 000 as all his entitlements and benefits. We disagree with this because this is not what is in our Cumulative Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The document is very clear on what should be paid to workers that are disengaged. There should even be redundancy package for the person. Also, our taxes are not remitted to the appropriate quarters by the management. Also, we want the management to define the term ‘corruption in the CBA.”
He continued, “For almost two years now, the management would deduct taxes from us, but they are not remitted to the tax office. I’ve been in this company now for 15 years, but I am yet to see any tax clearance. Lots of things are happening in this company. The company took us to the Ministry of Labour, but when it discovered that it was losing grounds, it opted out. Also, the retirement period in this company is 45-50 years, which is even against the Labour Law.
Most of us are in Warri doing the offshore for the company.”