Saturday, 10th June 2023

Labour promises to address casualisation at workplaces

By Gloria Nwafor
28 February 2023   |   3:55 am
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has promised to eliminate casualisation at workplaces.

Joe Ajaero

• Assures workers of better welfare
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has promised to eliminate casualisation at workplaces.

This is even as the congress assured workers of better welfare, considering the socio-economic challenges the country is currently facing.

The new President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, while speaking on his plans to tackle existential problems facing Nigerian workers, pledged to take the welfare of workers seriously.

He said the NLC would fight to ensure that the issue of casualisation is reduced to the barest minimum, if not eliminated.

He lamented that Nigerian workers have been reduced to slaves through contract and casual employment.

According to him, some workers earn as little as N15,000 with no conditions of service, medicare and pension.

“All these things, we are going to face squarely. Most employers don’t allow workers to belong to unions. It is only when you belong to a union that your interest and welfare will be catered for. All those issues will be tackled.

“Some of the unions are at the point of extinction because of workplace tyranny. We have to put a stop to it. If we do that and empower the unions, make them strong and vibrant, then they will be in a position to serve their members.

“Note that whatever is affecting the Nigerian worker is also affecting the NLC. This is a burden that the NLC must carry.

“Then the issue of minimum wage, the pay that cannot take you home. When you compare the minimum wage with the cost of living, it cannot balance up. So, these are some of the issues that we will have to contend with as a movement,” he said.

Asked if there are plans to protest the cash crunch and fuel scarcity, Ajaero said: “We don’t call people out for the fun of it. It must be issue-driven. So, the issues will determine what course of action to take in every given circumstance. If not that Nigeria is going into elections now, the very day I was elected, we could have taken immediate action on the issues of fuel scarcity, CBN redesign policy and cash swap, which have led to the apex bank collecting our money and not giving it back to us.

“Some of these issues would have prompted immediate action. But you can now see that if you take any action now, you are playing into the script of some fifth columnists, who will use that excuse to postpone the elections. So, you have to monitor the situation and gauge the mood of the moment before you take certain actions. So, these are some of the factors that we consider before we take some actions.”