Nigeria: NLC Issues 14-Day Ultimatum to Niger Dock to Recall Sacked Workers

The leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has issued 14-day ultimatum to the management of Niger Dock to recall sacked workers or face the wrath of the union.

This is just as the union expressed displeasure over the conversion of most workers in Lafarge Cement, which, in the past, used to be a very vibrant workplace, into casualisation and contract staff.

Citing the unjustified sack of about 10 workers as reason for the 14-day ultimatum, NLC vowed to mobilise against the Nigerian maritime company, if the management fails to recall the retrenched staff within the 14 days.

The president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, gave the ultimatum during his courtesy visit to the secretariat of Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria (SEWUN) in Lagos.

The ultimatum was based on the briefing by the president of SEWUN, Comrade Emmanuel Adesanya on how Niger Dock management has not only coverted the establishment into modern slave workplace but is also running the operations through casualisation and outsourcing.

Likewise the national president, National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), Comrade Olatunji Babatunde Goke, while briefing the NLC president and the media team that followed, appealed to the parent body to help in curbing casualisation that has been plaguing the industry.

Also the outgoing national president, National Union of Food, Beverages & Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), Comrade Oyelekan Lateef, called on Comrade Ajaero to come to the aid of the union against gradual crumbling of the sector by casualisation.

Explaining the reasons for the courtesy visits to unions, Comrade Ajaero said, the purpose is to find the collaboration of all the unions and other stakeholders in tackling the problems that have been affecting the workers.

He called on the unions to come out with lists of their challenges, lists of yet-to-unionised companies and their locations to enable the NLC know how sanitise the sector.

Ajaero noted that, one of the factors militating against prospects for any solution to redundancy and casualisation is that the current leadership of some unions and ministry of Labour and Employment are also directly or indirectly in ownership of most of the outsourcing companies.

"What they are doing is to change casualisation to outsourcing, it is an advanced way of manipulation of casualisation. It's just unfortunate that ministry is indirectly supporting casualisation by making casual workers to be unionised.

"How can you give blanket licence for people in casual to be unionised whereas within two years the employers will sack them and replace them with new set? What we are fighing for and which I believe the ministry should support, is conversion of such workers into permenent staff before they are unionised," he pointed out.

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