There are indications that the disagreement between the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC and Imo State government where flight activities have been halted for some days may have assumed a worrisome dimension.
In the fresh crisis already brewing, the Nigeria Labour Congress has urged concerned stakeholders to call the Proprietor of Air Peace, Allen Onyeama to order.
Both the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress in a statement on Friday, expressed disappointment in the utterances and behaviour of Mr Allen Onyema, CEO of Air Peace, accusing him of putting his personal business interest above the lives, welfare, safety, freedom and businesses of Imo State people.
Both unions have also threatened to petition the state governor, Hope Uzodinma to the Federal Government as well as the International Labour Organisation ILO.
In the statement circulated by Benson Upah, Head of Information and Public Affairs to reporters in Abuja, accused Onyeama of being unreasonable in his reaction to the strike called by the labour unions.
“We had thought Mr Onyema was a reasonable citizen but like the rest of them, he has shown his hand rather too early.
“His desperate attempt to personalise the strike action (by over 70 unions) and present Comrade Joe Ajaero as scuttling the business interest of a fellow Igbo is a familiar refrain of scoundrels who take refuge in primordial sentiments.
“We find it disgusting that rather than address the fundamental issues that led to this avoidable strike action, Mr Onyema has called for sanctioning of Comrade Ajaero and manacling of the Labour Unions but such is the psyche of those who come upon wealth suddenly or have wealth thrust upon them,” Upah noted in the statement.
Recall that following the scuttling of its May Day festivities in Imo on May 1st, the NLC and TUC declared war on the State. Directing its members to disrupt flight operations to the state.
According to the Labour movement, if the ordinary Nigerian has knowledge of the rights of citizens to peaceful protest as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended), corpus of Labour Laws, and African Charter on Fundamental Rights, Mr Onyema, a Lawyer is presumed to be even more knowledgeable about the operation of these laws/rights.
Labour said it inevitably puts a question mark on his claims to his credentials if he is bereft of this basic knowledge of the law.
It also claimed that similar law allows for the unionisation of the staff of Air Peace Airline which has been denied this basic right by Onyema from 2016 to date. In light of this, Mr Onyema is given two weeks to allow the staff of Air Peace to unionise. He should equally calculate and remit check-off dues from 2016 to date. If he fails to do this, he should be prepared to keep a date with the entire labour movement soon.