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Aviation: NLC seeks removal of alleged clauses against labour laws

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Aviation: NLC seeks removal of alleged clauses against labour laws
Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has called for the removal of some clauses inherent  in six  aviation  bills designed to amend  laws  establishing  aviation agencies in the country. 

The NLC said  the  clauses as captured  on the proposed  amendments to the  bills are  inimical to international  labour practices and  aimed at scuttling industrial liberties.

President  of NLC, Mr Ayuba  Wabba  made  the  call, yesterday in Abuja when  he presented  the  position  of NLC on the six bills, before  Senate  Committee on Aviation which has since passed public hearing.

Wanna said  the  concern of NLC was the promotion of national interest especially with regards to protecting the jobs of thousands of workers in the aviation sub sector and safequarding critical national assets from predatory private interests. 

“It is also important to strongly register the voice of labour over attempts to use the current review of the Aviation acts to introduce obnoxious provisions that are inconsistent with the general practice of lawmaking. 

“We are concerned that provisions that are solely domiciled in our national labour laws are being imported into the proposed amendment to the aviation acts under consideration. 

“We caution that this is not only out of sync with global best practices especially as provided for by the core Conventions of the International Labour Organization(ILO) which Nigeria had signed up to more  60 years ago. 

“If such obnoxious provisions could find their way into our aviation laws review in 2020, we wonder if we are making progress or beating backwards after sixty years as a Sovereign country. ”

He said all provisions relating to the introduction of essential services into the six bills being considered for review especially section 29 of the Civil Aviation Act should be completely expunged .

According  to him, airline business cannot be described by any stretch of thought as essential service. 

 “It would be nebulous, a double jeopardy, counter productive and a matter of conflict of interest to make list essential services under the Civil Aviation Act and to assign the powers of interpreting and assigning essential services to the Minister of Aviation,” he said.

Wabba also  said  the  NLC was not in support  of an interim boards in the  agencies. 

“The provision for interim boards in the bills of the aviation agencies is anathema to public good.

“A situation that allows the Minister of aviation with the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary and the head of each agency to directly superintend over the agencies as board chairman.

“Even for an interim period, completely defeats accountability and the doctrine of delegation of powers.

” Such a situation would make the minister acquire super powers, considering his other enormous powers under the various acts.”

He also  said  the NLC was against  the suggestion  to expunge “Authority” as nomenclature  and replaced with the word “Administration”  for the Federal  Airport Ports  Authority of Nigerian, FAAN. 

The NLC President said attempt to replace “Authority” with “Administration” could  only suggest an attempt to remove the management of  airports from government control.

Responding, chairman of the  Committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC Kogi  West) said  the  bills  were  still undergoing  legislative  inputs .

He said  the  issues  raised  by the unions were   important, nothing  that  Senate  would  look  into  matters. 

According  to  him  some  of his colleagues  were  in support  of the  issues raised, affirming  that  the  National  Assembly  was for  the  interest  of the  people and  not  anti -people. 

“We will  look  at  the  issues  raised  dispactionately,” Adeyemi said.

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