By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Protesting Aviation workers at the Ibadan Airport, on Monday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to assent his signature on the new aviation act .
The aviation workers made the plea during a peaceful protest in solidarity with their colleagues nationwide to protest what they termed anti labour clauses in the pending aviation bills now awaiting the assent of President Buhari.
New Nigerian gathered that the protesting workers comprised of members of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and National Union of Air Transport Employees(NUATE).
The protesting workers were sighted with placards having inscriptions such as “Aviation workers not essential service providers’; ‘Our rights to protest is covered under International Labour Organisation’; ‘Prohibition of Aviation union activities is evil’ and ‘Workers’ mouth cannot be gagged by any legislation’ and singing different solidarity songs.
The Chairman, Ibadan ATSSSAN, Mr Olayade Oyewole while addressing the protesters disclosed that the action was to express the entire Aviation workers rejecting of the purported ” anti labour clauses inserted into the aviation bills recently ammended.
Mr Oyewole stated that early this year, a committee was set up to look into the Act that established some parastatals in the aviation industry, where the union was fully represented and agreed on some of the clauses to be ammended.
The Chairman said ” but to our surprise, when the ammended document came out we discovered that some repressive clauses which wasn’t agreed upon,have been infused into the document”.
He stressed further, “ part of what was inserted indicates that aviation unions will not have the right to protest again; Unions will not have the right to go on strike, also workers will have no right to picket.”
” We found these clauses to be against labour law, thus the new bill when assented to by the President will restrain the rights of unions and obliterate unionism in the aviation sector”, he said
The Chairman added, “so, we want the new aviation act to stop and that President Muhammadu Buhari should not assent his signature to it.”
Also other union leaders that addressed the peaceful protest included Gbenga Kayode; Binuyo Akinkunmi; Ibrahim Abimbola; Tunde Badmus and John Adebayo but the peaceful protest did not distrupt activities at the Ibadan airport.