• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Labour crisis hurting economy – NECA

Segun-Oshinowo

Organised private sector (OPS) says no serious economy desiring growth allows the labour movement to continue in the trend of work stoppages and picketing of enterprises, as these constitute a major setback for the economy.

Segun Oshinowo, director-general, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), spoke on Monday against the background of the insistence of factionalised Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to go ahead with plans to picket some deposit money banks over the recent retrenchment of workers.

Oshinowo at a news conference in Lagos said it was high time the National Industrial Court (NIC) gave a ruling on the crisis in which two individuals – Joe Ajaero and Ayuba Wabba had been laying claim to the presidency of the NLC since March 2015, following the brawl that trailed their national delegates’ conference in Abuja.

It would be recalled that NECA and management of the affected banks met with the Wabba faction of the NLC in Abuja, where they signed an agreement on June 29, 2016 to suspend the planned picketing of banks in protest against the sack of over 1,000 workers.

However, the Joe Ajaero-led faction issued a counter statement saying the picketing would commence in weeks ahead, as the management of the banks and the employers’ body failed to discuss concerns raised by the union, particularly National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (NUBIFIE). NUBIFIE is affiliated to the Ajaero-led faction of the NLC.

But, according to NECA, the NIC must make a pronouncement that will be binding on the affected parties to move the trade union movement forward.

“It is time the law takes its course and we have to stand by the law that is legitimate. Anybody that contravenes the trade union law is subject to prosecution. We will not continue to allow the NLC crisis that has produced to factions to be prolonged because it is having a negative effect on employers and industrial relations,’’ the director-general said.

He said that there was no economy in the world that could be productive without peace because its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be affected.

“Let us ensure that we do not truncate the Nigeria economy through industrial relations matters,’’ he said.