By Bimbola Oyesola
Workers in the steel and engineering sector yesterday shut down Lambert Electromec, a Lagos-based electronic company alleging anti-labour practices.
The workers under the umbrella of Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria (SEWUN) in collaboration with Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had the early hours of Tuesday, picketed the company to enforce a court order that gave the company’s staff right to be unionised.
The Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) had ruled in favour of SEWUN in August 2020. The workers led by the union’s leadership sealed up the entrance to the company situated at Parkview Estate in Ikoyi area of Lagos Island as early as 7a.m thereby disrupting business activities of the company for the day.
After about two hours, the management however called the leadership for discussion and an hour later both parties signed agreement that finally gave workers the right to be unionised.
However, counsel to the company, Mr Jonathan Ikiebe, said that the management decided to enter into terms of settlement with the workers, leading to signing of the picketing.
‘’This matter has been on for about two years; the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) came up with an award, saying we should recognise the union, which we challenged on the grounds that due processed was not followed.
‘’We have allowed that to go now; we have agreed that we recognise them as a union in this industry and they can carry on with their activities: we have signed to that effect, ‘’ Ikiebe said.
The Assistant General Secretary, NLC, Mr Chris Onyeka, one of the leaders that led the picketing said the management had shown greater responsibility and realised the importance of obeying the laws of the land.
He said, ‘’Lambert Electromec has decided on their own volition to show responsibility; that they are from now on going to be a responsible organization; that they will obey the laws of Nigeria.