Lebanese firm succumbs to labour pressure, unionise workers
Three hours after members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) with its affiliates, Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria (SEWUN) picketed a Lebanese and Lagos-based electronic company, Lambert Electromec, both parties signed an agreement that finally gave workers the right to be unionised.
Assistant General Secretary, NLC, Lagos Council, Chris Onyeka, one of the leaders that led the picketing at Parkview Estate in Ikoyi area of Lagos, said the management had shown greater responsibility and realised the importance of obeying the laws of the land.
He said the electronic merchandise, which decided on their own volition to show responsibility; would henceforth be regarded as a responsible organisation that obeys the laws of the country.
The workers had as early as 7:00am shut down business activities of the firm, over alleged anti-labour practices.
The workers alleged that the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) had ruled in favour of SEWUN in August 2020, which gave the company’s staff the right to be unionised.
General Secretary of SEWUN, Paul Okonma, said: “We have met severally with the company, in an attempt to ensure the implementation of the IAP award, but the company bluntly refused and continued dodging the issue.”
However, counsel to the company, Jonathan Ikiebe, said that the management decided to enter into terms of settlement with the workers, leading to signing of the picketing.
“This matter has been ongoing for about two years; the IAP came up with an award, saying we should recognise the union, which we challenged on the grounds that due process was not followed.
“We have allowed that to go now; we have agreed that we recognise them as a union in this industry and they can carry on with their activities: we have signed to that effect,” Ikiebe said.