Kenya Airways passengers in Nigeria were on Tuesday kept waiting for long hours following the action of members of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) in conjunction with the Nigeria Labour Congress who disrupted the airline’s operation for hours. To press home their demands, passengers of Kenya Airways were stopped from completing their travel formalities at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos at the airline’s check-in-counter.
The unions took over the counters and crippled all activities of the airlines both in their offices and counters. On the reasons for their action, the National General Secretary of NUATE, Olayinka Abioye, said the disruption at the counters was as a result of the failure by Kenya Airlines Management to own up to their promises agreed over several dialogue to resolve the lingering issues bordering the welfare of Nigerians working with the Airline. He said, after due diligence with the Management in consonance with the International Labour Organization (ILO) collective bargaining principle, Management of the Airline had defaulted all licit arrangements which degenerated to the last option. He said “this would have taken place earlier but we had to reach KQ Management in Nairobi, Kenya and following the Commissioner of Police, Airport Command intervention truncated the picketing of the Airline to this day”. Explaining further, Abioye pointed out that, “the Kenya Airline defaulted in the incremental welfare programme for her workers, review of the terms and conditions of Nigerian workers in the Airline which has lasted close to two years, denying workers of their annual leave which goes against the Nigerian working rule that stipulates that workers are given 30days annual leave with full pay, amongst other reasons for the grounding of their operations and hoisting the NLC flag at their counter. He said this arrangement will last until the meeting all their workers’ demands”. Passengers who were stranded expressed displeasure over the development, saying that the airline would have to do something quickly for them to leave the country as they have urgent appointments to meet in Kenya. All efforts to get the reaction of the Management of Kenya Airlines on the matter was unsuccessful.