Flights Disrupted as NAHCO Workers Embark on Strike
Airlines in Nigeria said on Monday flights were being disrupted as members of staff of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) began an indefinite strike over demand for salaries increment.
Consequently, scores of international passengers were left stranded at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA) Lagos on Monday amidst alleged salary issues. The workers had slated Monday morning for the commencement of their strike due to non-satisfaction with their salary structure.
The ground handling company handles airlines such as Delta, Turkish Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Qatar, and Air France-KLM. Some of the airlines the company handles are also doing check-in, boarding, and ramp services for many international carriers.
One of the airlines handled by the ground handling company, Virgin Atlantic was left with no other choice but to withhold flight due to the strike action this morning despite its plea to the NAHCO Workers to please rescind their actions while NAHCO management looks into the issue.
Many of its passengers today are students who are returning to schools in the United Kingdom. They arrived at the international wing of the Lagos airport for their flights, unaware of what awaited them.
Many were seen throwing words at some NAHCO workers for choosing to embark on strike as confusion reigned at the terminal.
General Sales Agent (GSA) for Virgin Atlantic Airways, Chief John Adebanjo stated that the situation had already put its passengers in a panic mode as the airline was optimistic that the situation would be resolved and passengers allowed to board for their 10 am flight.
However, it was gathered that NAHCO management had met with the staff on Sunday over the proposed strike but assured them that the situation will be addressed soon. The situation at the time of filing this report depicted that more airlines could be affected by the problem created by the company today.
The National Union of Transport Employees and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria issued a notice last week that its members would go on strike from Monday to press NAHCO for better pay.
Report by: Zainab Junaid