Nigerian workers under the aegis of IndustriAll Council of Nigeria have called for concrete action against precarious work conditions to which workers in the country have been subjected.
Precarious work, according to the global union, refers to work relationship with no distinct terms of employment such as letter of employment stating the terms and conditions of the employment relationship with the result that the workmen are hired, supervised and remunerated by a contractor.
Lamenting what they described as increasingly precarious work conditions, the workers urged for concrete economic, political, and institutional framework and policies that will bring about decent work for the working class.
Leading the call during activities to commemorate this year’s World Day for Decent Work, the Chairman, Nigeria Council of IndustriAll Global Union, Comrade Igwe Achese, said all over the world, particularly in Nigeria, workers are becoming increasingly precarious and endangered.
Achese said: “One of the strategic action axes of IndustriAll Global Union and of course Nigeria Labour Congress, is to fight against precarious work through joint actions of the affiliates to reduce or limit the use of precarious work and to ensure labour rights to precarious workers.
“To ensure that government and employers do the needful in making sure that workers rights are guaranteed, and that workers are giving their due rights,” adding that poverty level is rising sharply, and that workers are at the receiving end as cost of living continues to skyrocket almost on daily basis.
Achese who led the workers’ solemn procession in Lagos from Jibowu head office of NUPENG through Ojuelegba and Yaba and back to Jibowu in solidarity with the plight of workers in precarious conditions lamented that Nigerian workers in all sectors of the economy have been subjected to precarious work conditions marked by widespread casualisation, widening poverty circle and increasing inequality.
Achese who doubles as President of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) as well as factional Deputy President, Joe Ajaero-led Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), decried increasing job insecurity, poor health of workers and absence of safety provisions, long work hours, lower wages and low quality of jobs.
According to him, studies showed that women are worse victims in the categories of precarious work conditions, and are more deprived of basic workers rights with regards to working hours, medical, holiday, safety at work, and maternal care.
He enumerated the grave impact of the precarious work to include inferior job status, lack of job security, poor health and safety conditions, long hours of work, low and uncertain wages.
Beside poor working conditions coupled with absence of basic trade union rights, others are casual nature of engagement, reduction in life expectancy, widening inequality and increased poverty, social disequilibrium and crime as well as breakdown of family structure and value.
Represented in the activity marking annual global decent work agenda were member of different labour groups of NUPENG, PENGASSAN, Textile Union, National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), NLC Lagos State Council and Delta State Council.