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Labour leaders condemn employers’ hostility to unions


Nigeria-Labour-CongressLabour leaders have condemned the version of employers to the presence of labour unions in their organisations.Speaking in Lagos at a training workshop, the Lagos State Chairman of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Francis Ogunremi, said the refusal of employers to recognise labour unions had led an increase in the rate of casualisation of workers.

He added the situation is further worsened by the high rate of unemployment in the country.He said: “Labour unions are to work for the survival of the organisations because some companies have folded up today. For us, we want to educate our labour leaders to know what to do at the right time and doing the right thing. The purpose of this workshop is to enlighten our labour leaders on how to organise the un-organized.

“Unemployment in Nigeria is a big issue. Those who are employed do not know what will happen tomorrow. There is no way we can solve unemployment without addressing the economy of the country.”

Speaking on the theme, ‘Transformational leadership and organising the un-organized’, the Managing Consultant, Alz Trust Limited, Austin Okoro, stated that labour leaders in the country are facing the challenge of acceptance.

He pointed out their role in meeting the yearnings of members on one hand and earning the trust of the management trust on the other hand comes with enormous challenges.

In order to tackle the menace of casualisation, he said, “Unions must constantly monitor the expatriate quota to make sure it is not violated. The law stipulates one expatriate to four Nigerians. This means 75 per cent Nigerian t 25 per cent foreigners.”

The National President, Association of Senior Staff of Banks and Insurance and Financial Institutions, Mrs. Oyinkan Olasanoye, said the increasing rate of casualisation in companies had made it necessary to train labour leaders on how to negotiate conditions of service.

She said: “We realised that over the years that there are more casual workers than the fulltime workers. The difference between these workers is the irregularity in their conditions of service. We felt that the only way we can assist them to have a regular condition of service and dignity of labour is when we try as much as possible to organise them. The lecture is a way of telling our members why we need to organise the unorganised ”

The State Controller, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olawale Shado, pointed out that union recognition by employers was statutory because their presence in workplaces had the backing of the relevant labour laws.

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