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NLC pickets Trust Fund Pension nationwide over anti-labour practices




The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday picketed the offices of Trustfund Pensions Limited nationwide over anti-labour practices.

Mr Ismail Bello, NLC Deputy General Secretary said this while addressing newsmen during the picketing in Abuja.

The protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as “Stop casual and contract employment, pay fair wages; “union membership is a fundamental right; “respect workers right to freedom of association”, among others.

According to Bello, we would no longer ignore the extent of labour standard violations being committed by the Trustfund.

“The immediate issue relates to the sack of 45 workers which we consider to be a redundant exercise, but the management considers it to be a routine management discretion.

“The other issues relate to casual and contract employment and unfair treatment of this category of workers both in terms of wages and their condition of employment.

“In addition, there is also the issue of unfair labour practices being meted on workers by the organisation,” he said.

He added that Trust Fund is a Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) that takes care of pension investment of workers and it is also a PFA in which the NLC has a stake.

According to him, we believe that we can deal with all issues through a process of dialogue, but, unfortunately, the management of Trust Fund has not shown good faith when it comes to discussing labour issues.

“We think that for a business in which we have a stake, we expect the utmost level of labour standards and the least that Trust Fund can do is to ensure that the right of workers to belong to the union is respected.

“This is because when you have a union in the workplace, you have a social partner to dialogue with, you have a social partner to do collective bargaining with,” he said.

Bello therefore said that PFA must ensure respect for workers rights, casual staff must enjoy the best standard of employment and disengagement entitlements should be paid.

In a reaction, Ms Chinalulum Uzomah, Head, Corporate Communications of Trustfund expressed disappointment over the picketing by the NLC.

According to Uzomah, this unprovoked act is regrettable and contrary to all known procedures for declaration of labour dispute.

“The NLC is a shareholder in Trustfund and also sits on its Board. The issues being raised by NLC concerning workers are false.

“This is because no employee of Trustfund is on contract. On the issue of wages, we make bold to say that Trustfund pays industry competitive wages that has just further been enhanced.

“As a regulated business, we go the extra mile to ensure that all our actions are within the law and regulations guiding labour relations,” she said.

She therefore apologised to their numerous customers nationwide for the current disruptions in their services and the inconveniences.

Joan Nwagwu

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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