NIGERIA Labour Congress (NLC), has described as totally unacceptable the massive retrenchments going on in the nationâ€™s banking sector and called on the banks that had sacked workers toÂ reverse their action without any delay and those planning to do same to jettison the idea to avoidÂ a harvest of industrial actions in the sector in 2010.
President of NLC, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar,Â in a new year message, declared that it was clearly unacceptable that tax payers money could be used to bail out banks whose owners criminally betrayed the trust of depositors through mindboggling scams, and after acting to safeguard public interest (inclusive of jobs); the new banksâ€™ management and boards would start victimising innocent workers through retrenchments.
According to NLC: â€œCongress was therefore surprised that the first major exercise by the new management of the bailed out banks was the ongoing retrenchment of workers which is completely against the spirit and philosophy of government using over N700 billion of public fund to save the banks from collapse.
It is clearly unacceptable that tax payers money can be used to bail out banks whose owners criminally betrayed the trust of depositors through mindboggling scams, and after acting to safeguard public interest (inclusive ofÂ jobs); the new banksâ€™ management and boards are seeking to add insult to injury through mindless retrenchment of bank workers. Across Europe and America, and other parts of the world, the main reasons for bailouts to banking and other institutions are to protect jobs and save the virtual roles they render to the economy.
Ours cannot be different. The government and the CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, must make it abundantly clear to the boards and management of the banks that the retrenchment route is not an option. Those who have already started must reverse them without any delay. Any insistence on going the path of retrenchment and layoffs will lead to a harvest of industrial actions in the sector in 2010, which is not desirable for the good health of the economy. We must all work hard to head off that route.â€
Commenting on the petroleum industry, the NLC said: â€œWe have noted with sadness that the crisis in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry persists. The continuing products scarcity, non-functioning of our refineries, inefficiency and corruption in the regulatory agencies and almost total dependence on importation of fuel is indeed a national disgrace.
We consider this situation not only fundamentally dangerous in social and economic terms but also grave in relation to our national security. We had in the preceding year campaigned for the restoration of our four refineries and the establishment of new ones. Being the commanding height of our economy, we have continued to canvass for active and full participation of the Nigerian State in the up, middle and downstream sector of our petroleum industry.
We do not share the belief that the problems of production, supply and distribution of petroleum products which we have continued to witness is simply because the four refineries are state owned. Publically owned refineries are working very well in many parts of the world including those that donâ€™t have oil.â€