By Victor Ahiuma-Young
WORKERS in the nationâ€™s Chemical and Leather industry, have petitioned the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, to look into unfair labour practices by Lee Group of Companies, accusing the group of unfair labour practices.
Under the aegis of the National Union Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLNMPE), the workers, specifically accused the management of the group among other things, of illegal deunionization and embargo on the formation of branch unions, thereby preventing them from coming together to fight for and defend their rights
The workers in the petition signed by the unionâ€™s General Secretary, Comrade Matthew Momoh, the union reminded the Minister of an earlier letter of complaint to him against Lee Group of Companies on de-unionization of members for which the MinisterÂ summoned both parties to a meeting in his office on 23rd June, 2009.
He lamented that since the meeting, the management of the group had become more hostile to labour issues and said â€œBut the issue involving denial of freedom of association and dehumanization of innocent workers by way of slave labour touches on the intergrity of our nation. Shall we allow a foreigner to make a caricature of our laws in the name of his high connection to the power that be?
We believe that there is law in this land (Nigeria) and Mr. Lee should not be speared as it would amount to a slap on the collective psyche of our dear country.â€
â€œAfter the failed 23rd June 2009 meetingÂ we were told to wait for the next line of action by your Ministry which forms the reason why we are writing you this reminder letter after endless waiting.
In furtherance to the complaint letter we submitted to your office on 25th March 2009,when we held a meeting with you at SGF Conference room, Federal Secretariat Abuja, we wish to give you further information on the antics of Lee Group of Companies.â€