Passengers at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport. Lagos were stranded today following an industrial action declared by the workers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) PLC over alleged refusal of the ground handling company to increase their pay.
The action of the workers has affected Qatar Airline, who AbelNews learnt landed but had to return to Doha as there was nobody to handle the carrier. And has also affected Virgin Atlantic
AbelNews also gathered that from the way things are going and if the crisis is not resolved immediately, the industrial action may affect other airlines NAHCO is presently handling. They include: Air France-KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, Delta and Turkish Airlines.
NAHCO, apart from handling passengers, equally carry out check-in, boarding, and ramp services for airlines.
It was learnt that the salary increase would have been resolved amicably with the unions’ intervention but that the issue was further compounded when NAHCO allegedly went to seek an injunction praying the court to stop the action of the workers. Company
This action, the online news platform also gathered from a union member infuriated the unions.
Attempts by AbelNews to reach NAHCO and get its own side of the story, especially as it concerned allegations that it approached the court for injunction to stop the industrial action proved abortive, as the ground handling is not forthcoming with its own side of the matter.
The issue is further compounded with the resignation of the former spokesman, Sesan Akinrimade from the organisation a few days ago.
However, AbelNews learnt from a reliable source that NAHCO is still trying to meet the unions representing the workers at a round table to see if the issue can be resolved to prevent further escalation.
According to the source, “The part the workers are towing is not the best, adding that if the workers are asking for pay increase, the money will come when the airlines are handled by the ground handling company. Not handling the airlines will not bring the pay increase they are asking for.”
A source at the international wing of the airport, who spoke to AbelNews in confidence, said that what is going on at the terminal could be described as confusion, as the NAHCO staff are not ready to back down.
He said that if the issue is not immediately resolved, it will affect some domestic carriers who are also handled by ground handling. company
The source further said that the issue should have been nipped in the board before it snowballed into confusion and caused an airline such as Qatar to return to its base.