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NECA urges govt intervention on NLC crisis


Olusegun Oshinowo, NECA Director General.

Olusegun Oshinowo, NECA Director General.

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has called on government intervene in the leadership crisis in the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to move the nation’s economy forward.

Speaking at a press conference recently, Director-General, NECA, Segun Oshinowo, said government had been patience with labour on the crisis
rocking the union, lamenting that such patience was undermining industrial harmony in the country.

He said: “We expect the National Industrial Court (NIC), to continue action on the case and make its pronouncement, which will be binding on everybody. So, let the NIC, based on the fact of the conduct of the controversial NLC election deliver it’s ruling.”

Adding that since both parties had not been able to resolve their differences, “It is high time the law took its position, and the law in taking its position will only be on the side of the legitimate NLC which has the certificate of registration, not the faction that does not have any prima facie or legitimate basis for its operation.

”The law is very clear about this. I expect the NIC to make pronouncement on this based on the position of the law. Since it had given the two parties opportunity to resolve their differences and they have not been able to do that.

“Before the NIC makes it’s ruling. We call on the appropriate institution of government that is expected to keep the peace to prosecute the promoters of illegal NLC. If government fails to act, government will be promoting an environment that nobody will be able to guarantee industrial peace,” he said.

He further explained on the issue of retrenchment in the banking sector, which had emerged at a meeting with the representatives of banks and leadership of the Ayuba Wabba-led NLC.

He said the meeting was set-up after it received a letter from the NLC, threatening to picket six banks for anti-labour practices and retrenchment without due process.

The six banks were listed as First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Fidelity Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, FCMB Limited, Ecobank Nigeria and Skye Bank Plc.According to Oshinowo, findings showed that First Bank and Fidelity Bank have not retrenched their workers contrary to media reports and union allegations.

In Diamond Bank, Oshinowo said it appeared workers were laid-off after a performance-based exercise was conducted, adding that more investigations would be carried out to ascertain whether it was actually a retrenchment.

The NECA boss said: “We took the case of Diamond Bank and we discovered that it had indeed rationlised some of its members of staff based on its operational need. The NLC and NECA agreed that we needed to dig further into the modus operandi of Diamond Bank as far as that exercise is concerned. We want to really assure ourselves that what Diamond Bank carried out was not a retrenchment but a performance-based exercise.”

On the alleged sacking at the FCMB, Oshinowo said findings showed that retrenchment was conducted and benefits were paid to both the senior and junior workers affected by the exercise.

He added that while the senior workers’ union was informed of the exercise, the junior workers’ union was not aware.In Skye Bank and Ecobank, the DG noted that an agreement had been reached on redundancy benefits with the unions before the sacking of workers was conducted in the two banks.

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NECANICNLCSegun Oshinowo
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