SAHCOL arrests four union members over welfare demands | Independent Newspapers Limited
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SAHCOL arrests four union members over welfare demands

Posted: Apr 25, 2015 at 8:35 am   /   by   /   comments (0)
 Abel Orukpe, Lagos
Crisis is brewing between the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL) and the two major aviation unions; Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) over arrest of four of their members and the refusal by the ground handling company to review the conditions of service of its members.
SAHCOL is one of the three ground handling companies in the country whose duties include passenger and ramp handling.
This was made known to journalists in a statement signed by the  General Secretary, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE),Comrade Olayinka Abioye, and Assistant General Secretary, Air Transport Service Senior Staff Association of Nigeria(ATSSSAN), Tarnmongu yesterday at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos
The duo stated that already four leading union officials of the two unions have been arrested by the policemen from the Airport Police Command.
They listed the names of the arrested union members to include Chairman, ATSSSAN SAHCOL branch, Aminu  Kolawole and the Secretary, Lawson Imotto, while  member arrested on the side of NUATE are Chairman, NUATE, SAHCOL branch Comrades Chukwu Jude, Chairman and Secretary, Kingsley Ejiogu.
The unions said that they were asked to report to the office of the General Manager, Human Resources where their photographs were to be taken by the company’s photographer for placement in the newspapers while the Airport Police Command were formally invited to effect their arrests simply for refusing to sign letters of dismissals prepared against them for undisclosed offences.
They added that only one of the union officials was not arrested while others who have no ODCs on them went to their respective beats to bring their cards, adding that when they returned to the office of the general manager human resources, Comrade Lawson Imotto, who incidentally is the General Secretary of the Airport Commands Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), has been arrested and taken to an unknown destination.
“We shall hold the Managing Director and General Manager of SAHCOL, Mr Olu Owolabi responsible for any untoward incidence against any of our union officials” they said.
The two unions said that they had earlier written to the Managing Director of the company, Mr Olu Owolabi, demanding for the resignation of the General Manager, Human Resources, David Olorundade for alleged gross acts of impropriety, victimization, harassment and violation of the rights of union members to decent wages, lack of review of their conditions of work, casualisation and contract engagements, lack of promotion, stagnation and against unwholesome anti-union hostilities.
The unions stated that when the union made request in June 2014, SAHCOL Management had promised severally to meet with the unions for the review of the outdated Conditions of Service but that till date, those promises were not fulfilled.
They stated that last week, in the course of the workers general assembly congress to deliberate on welfare issues, one of which was the outstanding severance benefits owed the workers called by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), the managing director was alleged to have personally gone to the meeting to disperse the workers, claiming that they had overstayed the time given to them to hold such a meeting.
The unions said that the general manager human resources did not stop there, as he went further to issue queries to the four union members mentioned earlier.
As at the time of compiling this report, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr Basil Agboarumi, said the ground handling company was preparing its reaction.