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Union laments loss of jobs to expatriates in construction industry

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Amaechi Asugwuni

The National Union of Civil Engineering, Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW) has bemoaned the massive jobs that are lost to the invasion of expatriates in the construction industry.

President General of the union, Amaechi Asugwuni, who stated this in Abuja, blamed the seeming helplessness of the Federal Government in halting the discomforting development.

His words: “We now see Indians and Chinese taking the jobs of technicians and artisans that can be done by Nigerians. This should not be acceptable to a country in search of development.

“Nigeria should be enhancing the development of the country through provision of jobs, but unfortunately, successive governments have been very weak in resisting expatriate quota and casualisation of workers.

“For instance, the kind of job that the immigration should approve should be clearly defined. A situation where people come into the country as a carpenter under the guise of expatriates should no longer be tolerated.

“What is expatriate about carpenters, technicians and iron benders, among other jobs done by so-called expatriates that cannot supervise projects?”

Asugwuni also disclosed that there are multi-national companies that are owned by Nigerians that are perpetuating practices that dehumanise Nigerian workers.

“For instance, Dangote is a Nigerian company. Dangote is the richest man on the African continent but if he is not encouraging employees to unionise and does not respect local content law, the situation needs a revision. I don’t believe that it augurs well for the country.

“Most of the companies that work under his group do not believe in the existence of unions. They believe that they have the connection to do without unionising workers because where there are no unions, it becomes difficult to fight for the welfare of employees and good working environment,” he added.

The NUCECFWW revealed that the union was presently concluding negotiation for minimum Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in the construction industry expected to take effect in November.

“We have a minimum standard CBA in our sector. The minimum provision of the National Joint Negotiation Council (NJNC) in the construction sector is very active. What we have now would be due for renegotiation in October this year. Therefore, a new minimum wage would be established in November this year in the construction industry,” he said.



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