Automobile Boatyards Transport Equipment and Allied Senior Staff Association (AUTOBATE), has flayed the management of Nigerdock FZE for arbitrarily declaring 17 members of the union, redundant and terminated their employment contracts without due process and consultation.
This is just as the union says it will escalate this matter to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Abuja, for a fair and expedited resolution to intervene urgently and decisively.
National President of the union, Comrade Michael Ugwuadu, who addressed a press briefing at the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria( ATSSSAN) condemned in strong terms what it described as anti-workers stance and violation of labour rights.
According to him, the action violates section 20 of the Labour Act, which stipulates that an employer who wishes to reduce its workforce must inform the trade union or workers’ representatives and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment of the reasons for and extent of the anticipated redundancy.
He also stated that employer must also adopt the principle of “last in, first out” in the discharge of the particular category of workers affected, subject to all factors of relative merit, including skill, ability and reliability.
He said,” The management of Nigerdock FZE has also disregarded the principle of social dialogue and collective bargaining, which are essential for maintaining harmonious industrial relations and ensuring fair and decent work conditions.
“Despite our repeated attempts to engage the management in constructive dialogue, mediation and conciliation meetings at the Federal
Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ikoyi, they have been unyielding to comply with the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement and extant labour laws on redundancy. They have also failed to pay the affected workers their full entitlements and benefits as stipulated in the agreement.”
“It must be noted that we declared Trade Dispute against the management of Nigerdock and we have gone through both mediation and conciliation process as stated by the Trade Dispute Act to resolve the matter with no success.
“It is noteworthy also to state that the conciliation session where communique of disagreement the management of Nigerdock was rebuked by the Conciliator on its refusal to comply with the extant labour laws and existing collective bargaining agreements. That is a demonstration of impunity and we want the public and industrial administrator to take note of that.
“This is not the first time that the management of Nigerdock FZE has acted in bad faith and violated labour rights. In August 2022, they also effected a similar redundancy that affected 17 members of our union without following due process and consultation.
“We declared a trade dispute then and referred the matter to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ikoyi, where the management was reprimanded and ordered to reinstate the affected workers or pay them adequate compensation. However, the management has not complied with this order till date.
“We are deeply concerned about the negative impact of these redundancies on the livelihoods and well-being of our members and their families, especially in these challenging times of economic recession and rising cost of living in the country. We are also worried about the future of Nigerdock FZE as a viable and competitive company in the maritime, oil and gas sector if it continues to treat its workers with disdain and disrespect.