ASCSN alleges intimidation of members in military formations
FOLLOWING alleged misuse of powers bestowed on them, The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has urged the Ministry of Defence to prevail on military commandants running Nigerian Army and other armed forces schools nationwide to put an immediate end to intimidating civilian workers.
The labour body, which has filed a trade dispute against the Ministry of Defence at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity on the development, noted that, the Labour Ministry has already apprehended the issue.
In a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal, ASCSN alleged that, soldiers at Command Secondary School, Ipaja, Lagos and other military formations were intimidating innocent members of the union.
“There have been repeated and very disturbing complaints by our members in most of the military formations nationwide about series of anti-labour activities which include: brutalization, humiliation, extortion, harassment, denial of the right to association, not allowing staff to go on Midterm breaks, etc.
“As we write, soldiers at Command Secondary School, Ipaja, Lagos used dogs and military weapons to be terrorising civilian workers ordering them not to leave the premises for recess,” the Union stressed.
It posited that since the Labour Ministry has apprehended the matter, the Ministry of Defence should call the soldiers to order and direct them to subject themselves to the rule of law because Nigeria is now practising democracy.
Besides, it alleged that unit officers of the Association at the school are being transferred indiscriminately because the Commandant is against the workers belonging to Trade Union in violation of Section 40 of the 1999 constitution, other extant Labour laws in the country as well as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions 87 and 98 on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining.
It condemned punitive posting of serving Union Officers and urged the Ministry of Defence to reverse the deployment immediately in the interest of industrial peace and harmony.
“For the record, the civilian employees in all military formations are Civil Servants who are guided by the Public Service Rules (PSR), the Scheme of Service and the Federal Civil Service Commission Guidelines on Appointment, Promotion and Discipline.
“The master/servant dichotomy that has characterised the working relationship between the civilian employees and soldiers in the Ministry of Defence is anti-Labour and against all relevant international labour standards,” the Union stressed.
It also argued that since Nigeria is part of the modern world, she should therefore abide by international labour standards in all ramifications.