By Suleiman Shehu
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Oyo State has given a 14-day ultimatum to Oceanic Construction Company to abide by the labour rules and regulations in the treatment of its workers.
The company is handling some World Bank water projects in the state.
Addressing newsmen on Tuesday on the sidelines of the picketing of the company in Ibadan, Mr Titilola Sodo, Oyo State NLC Vice Chairman, said that the union was not happy with the dehumanising condition under which the staff work.
Sodo said that there was a collective agreement made by the National Joint Industrial Council stipulating certain criteria governing the relationship between employers and employees in the construction industry.
He said that the criteria, which included industry minimum wage, provision of medical facilities, transport allowance and death benefit among other, were not being implemented by the company.
Sodo said workers in the company had joined the industry’s union while their leaders were being victimised, with many sacked.
“We call on the company to recall the sacked officers and implement other issues demanded by the union without delay.
“We are giving the company a 14-day ultimatum to do this and with failure to comply, other steps would be taken that may not be palatable to the company,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Mr Emelieze Andrew, the Chairman of TUC in Oyo State, said workers in the company were working under dehumanising condition.
Andrew said that apart from the poor pay of N700 per day offered by the company to the workers, the hostel in which the workers live was degrading.
“I shed tears for Nigerians the way they are being subjected to degrading condition and treated like second class citizens in their father land.
“Slavery cannot be acceptable and something needs to be done urgently to see to the protection of workers in Nigeria,’’ he said.
He called on the Nigerian government to monitor the activities of companies operating in the country in order to protect Nigerians working there.
Speaking on behalf of the company, an official, Mr Toyin Falomo, promised to convey the demands of labour to the management.