LAGOS – The National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE), said it was working with the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity to develop strategies for protection of workers’ rights.
The General Secretary of the union, Muhammed Sheikh, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that the collaboration would change employers’ and workers’ orientation.
Sheikh said that the increasing unemployment rate had made many employers to breach world best work standard treatment of workers in the sector.
“We are developing a strategy in collaboration with American Centre for International Labour Solidarity.
“By the time we finish developing the programme, I am sure that it will help us to raise awareness.
“Because, what the workers really need now is to raise their consciousness and awareness to see that beyond being a worker they are also Nigerians, human beings with human dignity and with full rights guaranteed under the constitution of Nigeria.“
He said that many employers in the sector did not keep to the standard working hours as many employees were made to resume work early and close late. [eap_ad_1] “There is a specific number that is recognised by ILO (International Labour Organisation) convention, the hours of resumption, the hours of closure.
“But for quite some time now, that hour of work is not being complied with as a result of the demand of the work in the industry brought about by competitions in the industry.
“However, we have been making effort to sensitise managements that it is very important for them to keep to the issue of compliance.
“It is stated that you resume by 7:30am to 8:00 am then you close on Monday to Thursday by 5:00pm then Friday you close by 4:30pm.
“It is no longer the case particularly in the banking sector because of the competition, and the slack in regulation too by regulators in the past.“
He called on the Nigeria Employers Association of Banks, Insurance and Allied Institutions to persuade its members to reconstitute the Joint Negotiation Council (JNC) in order to address issues that usually led to strikes.
Sheikh said that when reconstituted, JNC should make sure that it pushed for the standardisation of not only the wage structure and working hours, but working conditions as well to ensure stability in the sector.
On casualisation of workers, the general secretary said that the union had been working closely with the Federal Ministry of Labour and productivity to address the issue.
He said the casualisation of labour was widespread in the telecommunications, oil and gas sectors, as well as the banking and insurance industries. (NAN)