The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers(NAAPE) today disrupted the operations of one of the leading domestic airlines; Dana Air for alleged refusal to allow the association to unionise the pilots and engineers on the pay roll of the carrier.
As at the time of compiling this report, the disruption has affected three flights; which includes the airline’s 06.40 flight to Abuja,07.02 Port Harcourt operation and 07.20am flight to Owerri.
However, it is not clear if the activities of NAAPE, whose members were seen chanting solidarity songs and dancing at the Drop Zone of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two(MMA2) will affect other flights of the airline, which includes: 10.53 flight to Uyo, 11.07 am flight to Port Harcourt, 12.42 Abuja operation and 14.40 flight to Abuja.
As a result of the picketing of the airline, passengers who had earlier purchased their tickets for the first three flights; 06.40 flight to Abuja,07.02 to Port Harcourt and 07.20am flight to Owerri, were seen on the queue collecting their refunds from the carrier’s sales counters at the terminal.
The picketing created a long queue for other airlines operating at the terminal, as passengers were seen trying to buy their tickets from these airlines to get to their destinations.
Even the airline, whose operation is not very clear to Nigerians also benefited from the NAAPE organised picketing of Dana Air.
A Dana Air source, who spoke to Abelnewsng.com on the issue said that the issue was being resolved, adding that the airline’s operations would begin very soon.
Speaking to Abelnewsng.com, the General Secretary of NAAPE, Abba Ocheme stated that the refusal of the airline to allow the pilots and engineers on the pay roll of the carrier necessitated the picketing.
He also alleged that at Dana Air , the pilots and engineers were not given condition of service , adding that as a result , the airline pay them what they deemed fit
This, he stated was unacceptable to NAAPE, adding that what the airline is practicing is slavery.
He said that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)had earlier mediated in one the meetings with the two organisations, where a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by both NAAPE and Dana Air, wondering why the airline would renege on the agreement reached with the union in the presence of NCAA.
He added that part of the reasons the association decided to picket the airline is that it breached the agreement it signed with the union.
Some of the placards that were displayed by NAAPE members include: “No condition of service for staff at Dana Air, Dana Indian must obey Nigerian laws and Dana Air second Slavery in Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, policemen from the Airport Police command where seen at the terminal protecting both the union and the airline.