Workers at Nycil, Sango Ota, Ogun State, yesterday continued their nationwide protests against a lockout and proposed mass retrenchment by the management of the company. The workers described the action as anti -labour and against Nigeria’s constitution as well as the International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s position at this critical period of COVID-19 pandemic.
The workers who called off their protest on Monday following the intervention of the President of the National Union of Chemical Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), Mr. Goke Olatunji, resumed the protests as early as 6 a.m on Tuesday and vowed they would ensure there would be no discussion until the management opened the company’s gates. The two unions in the sector, NUCFRLANMPE and the Chemical and Non Metallic Products Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (CANMPSSAN) are teeming up to ensure that other subsidiaries of the company across Nigeria are shut down in solidarity with the workers’action.
The NUCFRLANMPE President and his CANMPSSAN counterpart, Segun David, lamented that the company’s action was in violation of the recent agreement signed between the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), the employers body and the Organised Labour represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) with the support of the Federal Government and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
“There’s an understanding that no employers must embark on retrenchment due to COVID-19 as it is a global phenomenon and no worker should be made a sacrificial lamb. But rather the unions and the management must find a way out through dialogue and negotiation,” Olatunji said.
At a briefing last week, acting President of NECA, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi, after the Association’s Governing Council meeting , had said there was an understanding that instead of retrenchment, employers could enter into negotiation with their unions on how to resolve the crisis, which may involve some adjustment in salary.