Organised Labour has demanded an immediate end to all forms of employment that offend human dignity, deny workers access to living wage and social protection.
They also urged the Federal Ministry of Labour to step up and renew its commitment to further enhance its monitoring duties, ensuring that every employer complies with the provisions of the labour laws. They said where the law is breached; the Ministry of Labour and other agencies of government should enforce the laws.
They agreed that work could only be decent when it has a fairly reasonable income that enhances their standard of living, with social protection for the family.
Addressing affiliates of Industrial Global Union, Nigeria, in commemoration of the 2018 World Day for Decent Work (WDDW), tagged ‘Change the Rules’ yesterday in Lagos, its Chairman, Babatunde Olatunji, said workers could not continue to work under precarious wages, while there is huge gap between ideals and reality in different sectors in the workforce.
He bemoaned the high rate of casuals in the sector, stating that employers now hide behind what they call the ‘core’ value of their business to casualise over 70 percent of their workforce through outsourcing and contract employment. The development, Olatunji noted is great assault on the welfare and dignity of workers, with negative consequence for the union as well.
According to him, the effects on workers and trade unions which are quite obvious include lack of employment contract, lack of job security, poor work conditions, denial of workers’ right to join the union and bargain collectively among others. “Precarious work has led to increasing erosion of basic workers’ rights such as freedom of association and collective bargaining.
The use of temporary/casual workers has led to depletion in the membership capacity to organize in all sectors.” The workers who marched through the streets of Lagos to the office of the Federal Ministry of Labour, carried placards with inscriptions such as Workers’ right to belong to union is a constitutional rights, workers are not production tools, change the rules, among others.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) insists that putting the Decent Work Agenda into practice is achieved through the implementation of the ILO’s four strategic objectives, with gender equality as a crosscutting objective: promoting jobs – an economy that generates opportunities for investment, entrepreneurship, skills development, job creation and sustainable livelihoods.