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Bi-Courtney Makes U-Turn, Allows Staff To Join Unions

Less than five months after the industry unions picketed Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, for banning its staff from joining any union of their choice in the Nigerian aviation industry, the company has rescinded its decision.

In an internal memo obtained by SaharaReporters, the company indicated that members of staff who wanted to join the unions could do so with immediate effect.

The management also backdated the dues deducted from its staff by nine months — May 2018 to January 2019 — and remitted them to the coffers of their respective unions.

The company said it would henceforth deduct 2.5 per cent of basic salary from any of its staff who joined the unions and remit such.

The memo, dated January 8, 2019, with the subject: ‘Deduction of Monthly Union Check Off Dues from May 2018 – January, 2019’, was signed by its Human Resources Business Partner, Adeola Dayo-Kazeem.

The memo read in part: “Your expression of interest to join the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) through the submission of duly filed form by you from their secretariat refers;

“We wish to inform you that the sum of thirteen thousand, four hundred and forty two naira, seventy three kobo (N13,442.73) will be deducted from your January, 2019 salary as payment of check off dues to the ATSSSAN.

“It is statutory that as a union member, remittance of 2.5 per cent of your monthly basic salary be deducted every month and some be made out to the union – ATSSSAN. This payment deduction — 2.5 per cent of your monthly basic salary — is from month of May 2018 till January 2019.

“Subsequent deduction of the above percentage from your monthly basic salary will be remitted to the union on a monthly basis.”

It would be recalled that the industry unions had, last October, kicked against the management of Bi-Courtney for sacking 29 of its staff for joining the unions.

The sack of the workers led to the picketing of the terminal for almost a week. The terminal operator claimed to have lost about N1billion to the closure, as some of the operating airlines relocated to the General Aviation Terminal.

After management reached an agreement with the unions, Wale Babalakin, the Chairman of Bi-Courtney, was said to have been peeved by the closure and took drastic action against some top management staff.

At least, seven of its staff, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Jari Williams, were sacked by the company.

After the sack, the company also recalled some of the staff, but declared them redundant and issued them exit cheques. 

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SaharaReporters, New York

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Source: Sahara Reporters

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