By Victor Ahiuma-Young
LAGOS—ORGANISED Labour and its civil society allies, yesterday stormed some industrial locations in Lagos to protest increasing abuse of workers’ rights casualisation, indecent work and inadequate pay to mark the Decent Work Day, declared by the International Labour Organisation, ILO, on October 7, annually.
There was also seminar attended by stakeholders including representative of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, to highlight the rising cases of workers’ rights violation and the need for government to protect workers from further exploitation through casualisation, outsourcing and contract staffing, and poor wages.
Before the protest, labour leaders including both factional presidents of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Ayuba Wabba and Joe Ajaero, addressed the gathering on the essence of the protest
Addressing the workers, Mr Ajaero, said indecent work and abuse of workers’ rights remained a problem for workers in Nigeria and NLC had resolved to create more awareness for employers to provide decent job by visiting some companies in Lagos.
Also speaking, Mr Isa Aremu, General Secretary, National Union of Garment and Textile Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, and Chairman of the IndustrilAll Global Union Nigeria, condemned the pattern of job recruitment in the country.
He cited the example of the ill-fated recruitment exercise by the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, which claimed several lives, adding that such act would not bring development to the economy.
Also, speaking, Profesor Princewill Alozie, a retired social advocate who joined the NLC team, lamented the neglect of the aged in the society and declared that because of poor policy, the retired and aged “people still queue to conduct verification before collecting their money.”
Similarly, at the seminar organised by the Association of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI, to mark the occasion, participants including leaders of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, called for a united fight against indecent jobs.
Speaking, ASSBIFI President, Mr Sunday Salako, condemned a situation where workers were treated with disdain, noting that indecent employment was still being promoted in Nigeria by failure to adhere to the principle of tripartism.
According to him, “`Tripatism is where labour, employer and government sit and agree to what should obtain in the labour system. Rather than adhering to the tripartism, what is happening in Nigeria is bilateralism, where enterprises are collaborating with those in government to make lives unbearable for employees.”