vows to step up anti-casualisation
By Prisca Egede
WITH a strong
resolve to forestall a recurrence of the Ikorodu factory
inferno which killed over 100 workers, the Nigeria Labour
Congress (NLC) yesterday urged all employers of labour,
especially multinational companies (MNC's) to "abolish
immediately all anti-labour practices that reduce workers to
The Congress threatened to picket all the multi-national
companies, which refuse to heed to this appeal.
NLC President, Adams Oshiomhole who spoke against the
background of the lackadaisical attitude of big business
towards basic occupational health and safety requirements in
the work place, warned that "from this month, we are now going
to intensify our anti-casualisation stance with a renewed
vigour and we are going to focus on big business such as
Nestle, Cadbury, Guinness, Dunlop etc and they have a choice
to turn the companies into war zones."
He said the reason labour was focusing on big business was
because "we have discovered that it is these celebrated
companies, more than the small-time Indian and Chinese
employers that are the worse slave drivers. So for us, it is
very strategic to expose them because by so doing, we will
send a message across to the public that in spite of posting
huge profits, they manage to treat their workers unfairly then
the quality of their products as questionable."
Oshiomhole, who spoke yesterday in Lagos during a one-day
national workshop on, "Promoting Industrial Harmony in the
Economy'' organised by the Nigerian Employers Consultative
Association (NECA) described NLC's resort to picketing as a
weapon against the widespread casualisation and contracting
out of hitherto permanent jobs, as an attempt to "prick not
just the conscience of capital and big business, but also to
prick the conscience of the government, because the basis of
commitment to this democracy which we made enormous sacrifices
for is that even the workplaces must be free from all forms of
According to him, by resorting to these illegitimate forms
of employment such as casualisation, outsourcing/ contracting
of jobs which employers have embraced with a view of
maximising profit, employers are just attempting to "revise
all the gains of yester-years and some of the things labour
thought we have gained through unionisation capital is trying
to regain in one day."
He accused employers of becoming greedier, less caring,
arrogant and returning to practices, which were abandoned in
an attempt to give capitalism a human face.
In his submission, the (NECA)'s Director-General, Mr.
Olusegun Oshinowo said his association would not support the
flagrant violation of the labour laws of the land by any of
Reiterating the employers' 10-point position on the issues
of casualisation, contracting/ outsourcing of jobs, he noted,
that NECA, "supports the use of casuals within the context of
the labour laws."
In this regard, he said that NECA supports the
"regularisation of the appointment of all casuals that have
been on the company's payroll beyond 90 days.
He added, however, that regularisation could take many
forms, ranging from fixed term contract to regular employment
depending on the nature of work with the company "applying
going rules in the industry and deducting check-off dues for
onward transmission to the union."
In the same vein, while stating NECA's support for
"outsourcing of services in line with worldwide practice on
the issue," he observed that NECA did not support the
"roll-over of casual workers nor the casualisation of
In addition, employers will take it as their
responsibilities to ensure that third party service providers
comply with "statutory provisions in their relationship with
Against this background, Oshinowo who reiterated the
union's interest in promoting decent work in the country,
posited: "We in NECA share that aspiration and we are,
therefore, prepared to work with the union to promote decent
work in not only mainstream businesses but third party
corporate bodies that work for our members."