The practice of imposing unattainable targets from depositors in the Country and using indecently dressed sexy looking girls to hunt for deposits is a source of worry to a national body of workers which has vowed to stamp out the menace and hold bank owners accoubtable for these evil practices just as the frequent job loses is been looked into with a view to provide safety nets.
Comrade Joe Ajaero the President of the nascent Labour union platform known as United Labour Congress made the observations at the 6th Quadrennial Delegates’ conference of the National Union of Banks,Insurance and Financial Institutions(NUBIGIE) in Ikeja Lagos.
The following are excerps of the speech by comrade Joe Ajaero, President United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC) during the 10th, 6th Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) on the 15th Day of September, 2017 at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Protocols! On this historic occasion of your quadrennial delegates’ conference, I stand fulfilled as the fruits of our united commitment and determination towards ridding the trade union movement in Nigeria of all blights and vestiges of crass retrogression delivering it from the clutches of forces that have continued to make our movement become a cheap imitation of the character of our nation’s political parties has begun to manifest.
It is therefore with great joy and deep humility that I stand before you great comrades! Today, your Union – NUBIFIE has taken that giant step to stand on a moral high ground.
You have chosen after many years to shine the light for other unions to follow! You have therefore decided to become one of the few beacons of hope upon which a resurgence trade union movement that honours its traditions, principles and Statutes will be built.
That you are all peacefully gathered here to chart a better trajectory upon which your great union’s future will be built is truly a watershed.
Only those that understand your chequered history will appreciate today’s momentous occasion.
We at the ULC therefore congratulate all of you men and women; Bankers and workers of our nation Nigeria; the keepers and guarantors of our treasury.
Your determination to turn your union around is at the heart of what we preach, practice and want seen within the nation’s trade union movement.
It is thus not just a huge contribution to the development of the nation’s trade union movement as it sets a good example but also a continuation of your decision to support us in our quest for enthroning a trade union movement in Nigeria that offers protection and hope to all Nigerian workers and masses.
We are committed to protecting and projecting the interests and desires of Nigerian workers no matter the quantum of opposition.
We are committed to ensuring that contract, casual and precarious jobs including all dehumanising workplace practices are stamped out. This is the promise ULC holds for you but needs your continued support to build.
However, since inauguration on December 17, 2016, the ULC has faced daunting challenges from various agents of retrogression whose interests are founded on the suffering and impoverishment of Nigerian workers.
As we hit the ground running touching various sectors and liberating workers in those areas, great fears spread through their camp and they mobilised themselves to stop these liberation crusades.
It is important to inform you that since then, they have raised all manners of artificial barriers against us including raising some elements within our sister centres to mount opposition against the freedom which our emergence meant for Nigerian workers.
Comrades! Are we overwhelmed? Clearly No! We are rather encouraged by their wicked resistance knowing fully that in these oppositions lay our victory; in these oppositions lay our triumph; that in them one day, we shall cry freedom! We promise you here today, that collectively and with determination we shall tread upon the wicked bosses and slave masters to make our workplaces places of dignity and comfort. We shall not compromise on our collective interests! We shall not betray you! We shall not sit upon your suffering to negotiate our personal interests! We shall not employ the Nicodemus principle! We shall stand by you at all times! That is ULC’s commitment not only to you but to all Nigerian workers and peoples. Just yesterday comrades! this struggle became heightened! On the basis of our final decision to embark on a nation-wide strike this coming Monday; the Honourable Minister of Labour was quoted as calling us names! It was alleged that he called us illegals! Fellow comrades! Was that not very unfortunate of a sitting Minister holding such a dignified public office? If ULC is illegal, does that not make APC, PDP and others illegals having all also been founded on the dictates of Section 40 of the Nigerian Constitution? Nigerians should ask the Minister the section of the trade Union Act that registered the Resident Doctors Association which he negotiates with all the time? Anyway, ULC does not have any intentions of joining issues seriously with the honourable Minister or any other persons but the only thing we can tell them is that he should wait till when the Strike commences for action speaks louder than words.
He has unfortunately not realised that we have to save him and his Ministry which he has allowed to be rubbished by interest groups averse to honest engagements in the sector and the freedom of Nigerian workers by this action We are sure that the Minister must have been misquoted but given the preponderance of lying as a tool for governance in Nigeria, we are not surprised.
However, the Minister may not be a very good liar and should have gone to take tutorials from the grandmaster himself – Lai. Let it be placed on record that the Laws of our Land – the Constitution and the Trade Union Act are on our side and fortunately, Ngige holds no judicial powers which he feigns to wield and cannot pontificate on the legality of ULC. He cannot be the person saying this because he knows what the Law says on this and which has been attested to both morally, practice and in deeds. Nigerians should remember that TUC operated without certificate for 27 years and that was within the ambits of the law and Ngige knows this unless he is saying this tongue-in-cheek. If a Minister can show this level of ignorance then, Nigeria is truly in trouble. We therefore pronounce his comments as not only unfortunate but ILLEGAL and should be ignored by all Nigerians.
This Strike on Monday must therefore go on no matter their shenanigans! We must join our hands to make it compelling! Don’t allow the ATMs to work, let the Banks be closed and let us demonstrate the collective strength of Nigerian workers.
Let us show once and for all that we can neither be intimidated nor purchased! Let us show them that it is only by meeting our demands that we can back down! Now to our Conference of today, I want to tell you that from this vantage point up here, I am offered the opportunity of looking deeper into all of your eyes and what I see are shining eyes and smiling faces filled I know with great expectations.
I am truly encouraged by this outpouring of camaraderie and effusive brotherliness. These expectations are eventually going to be determined by the choices you make here today – either to make NUBIFIE a united progressive union that will ultimately give you victory over your travails or to retard its progress. A wasted today, is a bleak future! I therefore urge you today, to make the right choices; the one that will make NUBIFIE a great Union thus make you proud of yourself tomorrow when you look back.
Your Union must rise from this Conference more united, cohesive and committed to freeing workers in your industry from the captive shackles of unwholesome Industrial Relations practices that presently have a choke-hold on it.
I must commend your present leadership for their courage, vision and for listening to our demands that right processes be enthroned. You have done well and we urge all of you to conduct yourselves peacefully while you make the choice to elect leaders that will continue the good works which are beginning to be seen in your Union so that we can all make progress together! Once again, the ULC is committed to working with you to finally nail the coffin of the scourge of precarious jobs in the Banks and Finance industry in Nigeria. Together we can achieve it. Here, take our hands of solidarity and Stand! NUBIFIE stand!! Have a wonderful Conference!