Employers, NLC bicker over picketing of banks
Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Comrade Joe Ajaero faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) are currently at daggers drawn over the decision of the latter to picket banks that sacked their employees recently.
The Ajaero group had last week said it would go ahead to picket such banks on the strength that its group was not consulted in a purported meeting held with stakeholders to shelve the action.
This position is at variance with the Comrade Ayuba Wabba group’s which had stayed action on the planned picketing after meeting with concerned parties in the dispute.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Director General of NECA, Mr. Segun Oshinowo, said his association would not dialogue with ‘rogue NLC’ on the premise that the Ajaero faction was not recognised by law.
He implored the minister for Labour to resuscitate the NLC case in the National Industrial Court (NIC) in order to have a clear picture on who the substantive president of NLC is.
“We had a meeting with the substantive President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, that the law recognised the bank crisis with labour. We are ready to write the IGP and the minister to caution the body of NLC that paraded itself as a legal entity.
“I want to plead with the media to stop using the terminology ‘faction NLC’ because it is promoting the body. The key conclusion we reached with NLC during our meeting in Abuja is that the right of employers must be respected.
“We also found out that Fidelity and First banks have not carried out any retrenchment while Diamond Bank only did a performance exercise,” he said.
He therefore implored the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige and the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, to call to order the faction of Nigeria Labour Congress led by Ajaero over its decision to picket banks that sacked their employees recently.
But Comrade Ajaero in a statement accused the NECA’s boss of colluding with anti-workers elements in Abuja to continue enslaving workers in the sector by seeking to scuttle their legitimate struggle for decent work.
He said his faction’s picketing of banks after the Ramadan holidays would start with NECA office.
“We want to reiterate that the NLC will compel NECA and others to obey our laws and act responsibly within the ambit of international standards and norms governing our engagement as social partners,” Ajaero noted.