*Warns against retrenching, slashing workers’ salaries over COVID-19
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–AMALGAMATED Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees,AUPCTRE,has called on the federal government to immediately declare a state of emergency on security.
This was as it warned some state governments against retrenching or slashing workers’ salaries on account of COVID-19 pandemic.
The union which presented its positions in a communique it issued at the end of its 24th plenary session of the National Governing Council,NGC meeting,held in Enugu, with the theme:”COVID-19 and The Changing World of Work”, particularly “frowned seriously at the alarming rate of kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery, ritual killings and other social vices that have permeated the very fabric of this nation.”
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In the document signed by Benjamin Anthony, National President and Sikiru Waheed, General Secretary, respectively,the organisation said:”The NGC-In-Session deliberated extensively on the socio-economic and political challenges affecting the Nigerian workers, the downtrodden masses and the Nigeria Nation at large.”
“The NGC-In-Session observes that some state governments indulging in unilaterally slashing of workers salary at the wake of COVID-19 pandemic which has also affected the economic condition of workers and their unions. This action contravenes the Nigeria Labour Laws and International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention on equal pay for equal work done.
“The NGC-In-Session therefore sends a warning signal to such erring States as continuation of such policy will invoke the collective strength of labour force,”the statement said.
“After exhaustive and critical deliberations, the two days meeting of the NGC “commends the national leadership for their foresight and the timely conduct of an education programme for NGC members and Veterans with the theme “COVID-19 and The Changing World of Work” and encourages the leadership to continue in their efforts at training and retraining until all members of AUPCTRE are trained”,it said.
The organisation,which applauded the “Federal Government of Nigeria for the speed at which Public enlightenment is provided to the Public and vulnerable Nigerians to curtail the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic”,”cautioned that the campaign should not be politicized or turned to a money making jamboree for any individual or groups.”
“The NGC-In-Session equally warned that Government and other employers of labour should not leverage on COVID-19 to relieve workers of their work or slash workers’ salary and wages,”the communique read.
On insecurity,”The NGC-In-Session frowned seriously at the alarming rate of kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery, ritual killings and other Social vices that have permeated the very fabric of this Nation,”it further read.
“The NGC observed the lackadaisical attitude of Government to arrest the situation and other precautionary measures aimed at curbing the incidence which have caused a shameful kidnapping of a whole family across the States of the Federation.
“NGC-In-Session, therefore, calls on Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on Security matters in Nigeria,”it said.
On privatisation,”The NGC-In-Session observed with dismay the trends of privatization of public utilities in Nigeria with utter disregard to public interest.”
“This policy privatization is derived from the neo-liberal economic policy sponsored by World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) tailored towards Public Private Partnership (PPP),”it alleged.
“NGC-In-Session further observed that the Privatization agenda of the ruling class is to convert the common Wealth of Nigeria to Private ownership. NGC-In-Session therefore advocates for Public Public Partnership (PuP) as an alternative to PPP and calls on Government to reverse this treacherous agenda as most of the organisations already privatized have only resulted in loss of jobs and untold hardship for Nigerians,”it said.
On the National Water Resources Bill,”The NGC-In-Session condemns in totality the intents and contents of the National Water Resources Bill which will regulate the use of Water in Nigeria and take away ownership of all Water from the Nigeria masses to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The NGC-In-Session resolved to collaborate with Community leaders, interest groups Civil Society Organisations and social partners to ensure that the anti-peoples bill does not see the light of the day,”it said.
Commenting on Alleged anti-workers’ policies of the Corporate Affairs Commission,CAC, It said:”The NGC-In-Session condemns in totality the punitive transfer of workers, anti-union posture and gangsterism of the Registrar – General of CAC.”
“The meeting specifically frowns as the idea of forcing a Director Trade Unions on employees as the case is in CAC. The NGC posit that trade unionism is voluntary in line with trade unions (Amendments) act of 2005 and therefore, no management, including that of CAC, can decide which union a worker should belong,”it said.
“The NGC-In-Session therefore calls on the Registrar General and Management of CAC to reverse the punitive transfer meted out on Union leaders or face the collective weight of Nigeria Workers as that action constitute an affront on Labour Laws and contravenes International Labour Orgnisation (ILO) Conventions ratified by Nigeria,”it added.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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