01 June 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Minister of States for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has warned International Oil Companies, IOCs, against casualisation of Nigerian employees, saying it “contravenes the labour laws”.
The minister gave the warning during a live interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday.
According to him, any IOC found guilty of casualising its workers in the name of saving cost has run foul of the law.
“The duties of an employer and an employee are clearly stated in the labour law. So an employee is free to either employ or sack. But you are not allowed to leave someone hanging in the middle of a divide”.
Kachikwu added that government has already stepped into some of such cases, and is currently running a survey to enable it to give the challenge a better solution.
“Some cases have been brought to us which we have looked into. And while we found that some cases were justified, we also found that some of those cases were wrongfully meted out.
“We are currently running a survey of the oil industry to enable us see if the case of casualisation is truly rampant as said by union members. But at the end of the day, the labour laws of this country are very clear and we need to enforce it”, he said.
The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, had on May Day, blew hot over increasing casualisation and outsourcing of workers in Nigeria.
According to President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, organised labour would no longer tolerate such indiscipline in the country.
Addressing workers and other guests in Abuja venue of the May Day celebration, Wabba lamented that: “According to a Report published by the Campaign for Democratic Workers Rights, 45 percent of the workforce in Nigeria operates as casual workers. Fifty percent of the burden of casualisation exists in the downstream oil and gas and banking sub-sectors of the economy and some other workplaces. Casual workers in our workforce operate under very precarious conditions with near total denial of the benefits associated with permanent and decent work. Nigerian workers can no longer offer their labour to slave drivers whose only interest is profit maximisation and capital mobility”.
“Closely related to the trend of labour casualisation is the worrisome pattern of anti-unionisation posture by employers of labour in the public and private sectors. We wish to remind all employers that our laws allow all workers to exercise their freedom of association to belong to unions of their choice in line with the provisions of ILO Convention 87 and Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. MTN is a major culprit in this regard. We warn offending employers that they should expect organised labour soon at their doorsteps as we will increase picketing activities against such roguish corporate entities. We will dare you! We shall win you!”, he said.