The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association has condemned the planned picketing of selected banks by the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees.
The employers’ association, in a statement on Sunday, alleged that the union was being emboldened by the directive of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on the sacking in the banking sector.
The Director-General of NECA, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo, pointed out that the labour law recognised the right of employers to determine their operational policies without approval from the ministry, while respecting the provision of Section 20 of the Labour Act, where and if a labour union existed in the organisation.
He gave the assurance that any employer carrying out retrenchment would meet with the appropriate body in the workplace, including the union where one existed, and would pay redundancy benefits to affected employees.
According to him, the right to strike or picket is not an opportunity for impunity and criminality.
He was quoted as saying, “It is most unfortunate that the minister’s comment has been fuelling impunity and gross abuse of rules and principles of industrial relations in Nigeria. The law about dispute settlement is clear in Nigeria. If the union has any issue with the action of the employer, its recourse should be the industrial court rather than take laws into its hands. We expect the minister to caution the union and urge it to follow due process in seeking justice for its cause.”
He warned, “In exercising its right to picket, the union should realise that such an action should not impinge on the right of the enterprise to conduct its business.