The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has warned that the Federal Government would no longer tolerate casualisation of workers by employers in the country.
Against this background, the Federal Government, according to the minister, has concluded arrangement for a stakeholders meeting to deliberate on this issue, in Abuja during the week.
Ngige, who was speaking at the commissioning of the second phase of Food Union Hotel and Suites, a multi-purpose project of the National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), at the weekend in Lagos, said it is the right of all workers to belong to the union of their choice.
He said, “Protecting employers/employees relationship is our job, and workers rights is well stipulated in our constitution, as well as backed by International Labour Convention (ILC). So, to ensure that organised labour can organise their members without any threat or intimidation, we will support them with appropriate regulations.”
He emphasised that employers were better off with unions, while cautioning against manipulation and imposition of stooges among union officers by some employers.
The minister, however, commended the leadership of NUFBTE for diversifying into entrepreneurship, building hotels, water production and some other ventures, adding that such a feat would make the union stronger.
According to him, “it is when a union is independent that it can become strong physically and financially. You have been able to move from union of employees to a union of employers. However, reward of good work is more work, so we are looking forward to commissioning more of this in other states and Abuja.”
The National President of NUFBTE, Lateef Oyelekan, said the diversification was important to the union and was necessitated by the need to provide alternative source of funds.
He called on the Federal Government to address the issue of importation of beverage and confectionery which was killing the local industries, adding that the local industries were able to meet local need.