By Albert Akota
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has supported the House of Representatives initiative to criminalise casualisation of workers in Nigeria.
The bill which was sponsored by Honourable Olawale Raji from Lagos State is seeking amendment to the Labour Act to criminalise casualisation of workers and to add a clause to the Act which provides that every worker shall enjoy full employment benefits as a permanent staff after six months of engagement.
The bill seeking to prohibit engagement of casual workers beyond six months has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill is also seeking to prohibit outsourcing to third parties, while any casual workers sacked by an employer after six months will be entitled to the benefits of full-time workers for six months.
Speaking at a dinner with newsmen in Abuja, president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Comrade Quadri Olaleye, said the union is in full support of the House of Representatives’ initiative to criminalise casualisation of workers and outsourcing of works in Nigeria.
“We are in full support of the initiative by the House of Representatives to criminalise casual workers and outsourcing to third part because we all know that in Nigeria of three decades, when you join a company either as casual worker or contract staff, the principle then is that you cannot work for more than three to six months before you’re confirm as an establish staff of that company.
“But, now the situation is totally bad. For instance, in a company that has a population of 200 to 1000 workers and 80 percent of that staff are casual workers, it means there is no job security because you don’t have establish salary and allowance, and you dare not complain of condition of service.
“So, criminalising it is something that the Trade Union Congress (TUC) will partners with the House of Representatives.
It is part of the labour review that is in the process to ensure that we criminalise it and create more permanent jobs in the country.
“In Nigeria today, you see a graduate that is well trained engineer doing casual work in a company without job security because with little mistake he will find himself outside the gate of the company without any benefit.
So, we are fully in support of criminalising the casualization,” Olaleye stated.
Comrade Olaleye assured Nigerian workers, especially members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) that his leadership of the union remain focus to tackle myriads of problems plaguing the labour movement and the nation at large.
He said TUC will continue its collaboration with its sister Congress, the Nigeria Labour Congress to ensure that Nigerian workers are not denied their rights.