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Unions accuse government of complicity in workers’ sack

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Chemical workers in front of Nycil, in sango ota, ogun State, protesting against the lockout by the management, last week.

The National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), and the Chemical and Non Metallic Products Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (CANMPSSAN), have accused the Federal Government of supporting the management of Nycil Chemical Company, to sack its workers without recourse to Nigeria’s industrial relations.
 
The President of CANMPSSAN, Segun David, said the management’s latest action to sack the workers may have been due to the backing of the government, who has failed to fulfil its mediatory role on industrial relations.
 
The Guardian gathered that the management in an attempt to carry out mass retrenchment, which it said was due to the effects of COVID-19, locked all its gates against the workers, who had arrived for the day’s activities.
 

The workers, who were taken aback by the management’s decision commenced a peaceful protest and vowed to continue to resist the action until the management opened the gate for discussion.
 
David said the Controller of Labour in Ogun State, who visited the firm located in Sango Ota, when the labour unions picketed the firm throughout last week, failed to interpret the law on lock out to the management, but rather was trying to force the unions to heed the management’s position.
 
He said: “That would have amounted to maltreating the workers to lose out on all their benefits. It is unfortunate that as much as the Federal Government is working to save Nigeria from COVID-19, the company is trying to further endanger the workers lives through undue exposure and suffering.” 
 
He assured the workers that the unions and the parent body; Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), will mobilise other Nigerian workers to fight for the total shut down of the company until the management followed due process.

The President of NUCFRLANMPE, Goke Olatunji, said the firm failed to negotiate with the union based on collective and procedural agreement.
 
He advised the workers not vacate the premises and ensure that their right was granted even if the company would fold up. 
 
In his reaction, the Managing Director of Nycil, Badmus Abudu, said the management decided to lock out the workers to forestall violence.
 
He said the management was open to the peaceful resolution of the crisis, and as such, would be meeting with the top board members to decide on the way forward.


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