NLC, TUC Vow to Defend Nycil Workers

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By Ugo Aliogo

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have vowed to mobilise workers to fight the ‘unfair’ labour practices being meted out to Nycil workers in Sango Ota, Ogun State, by their management.

This is even as the two unions representing the workers; the National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), and Chemical and Non Metallic Products Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (CANMPSSAN) have accused the federal government of allegedly supporting the management of the company in its bid to sack the workers without recourse to industrial relations law of the country.

The workers, who have been picketing the company since last Monday due to the lockout by the management, got the cheering news from their leaders yesterday of the support from other Nigerian workers.

The President of NUCFRLANMPE, who is also the head of National Trustee of the NLC, Goke Olatunji, said the union has the assurance of the labour organisations for the total shut down of the company until the management follows due process.

According to him, “The management has further worsen the crisis by putting up a notice at the gate that the workers should stay away until the management contact them, where is that applicable in law. They were still at work until last Saturday and there was no information or whatsoever, only for them to resume work last Monday and the gate was locked, this is quite unreasonable.”

The management’s notice read: “This is to inform you that the company has been closed down till further notice. Further communication on resumption, if necessary, will come to you in due course.”

The NUCFRLANMPE president said the workers would not vacate the premises until they ensure that their right was granted, even if the company would stop operation.

“We know it’s a ploy by the management to sack workers without any negotiation, more so, when it has failed to negotiate with the union based on collective and procedural agreement,” he said.

The President of the Chemical and Non Metallic Products Senior Staff Association (CANMPSSAN), Segun David, said the management latest action may have been due to the backing of the government, which has failed to fulfill its mediatory role.

David said the Controller of Labour in Ogun State, who was in Sango Ota last Wednesday, failed to interpret the law on lockout to the management, rather, he was trying to force the unions to toil the management position.

“That would have amounted to maltreating the workers to lose out on all their benefits. It’s 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 said.