The protest, which began at about 11.00 a.m. was organised by members of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protesters barricaded the road leading to the international wing of the airport for over an hour, leading to vehicular traffic within the airport and its environs.
They carried placards with various inscriptions such as : “Police should leave our members alone” and “Caverton, pay us our terminal benefits”.
Mr Anthony Ijeh, the Secretary, NUATE, Lagos Council, said no fewer than 10 union leaders were arrested on Tuesday by the police for picketing Caverton Helicopters office at Lagos airport on Monday.
“On Monday, we picketed Caverton over the failure of the management to pay the redundancy packages of the workers sacked in Lagos, Warri and Port Harcourt.
“Some of the workers were laid off since 2018 and the unions met and gave them a deadline of March ending to pay the dismissed personnel their severance benefits.
“Caverton refused to pay them, which led to yesterday’s picketing which was later called off because of the intervention of the Ministry of Labour and Productivity. ”
He said it was therefore surprising that the Caverton bypassed the Lagos Airport Police Command which had been handling the issue and brought officers from Rapid Response Squad, Oshodi, who arrested the union members.
However, Mr Frances Akinjole, the Deputy General Secretary, ATSSSAN, told NAN that the arrested union members were released some hours after the protest.
“We have been able to secure their release, but we are not going to relent on our demands that the dismissed workers should be paid all their benefits by Caverton,” Akinjole said.
Efforts to get the reaction of Caverton Helicopters proved futile as calls and text messages sent to its Managing Director, Mr Josiah Choms, were not responded to as at the time of filing this report.