Steel workers seek government’s protection as sector loses 3500 jobs
Workers in the steel industry have called on the Federal Government to protect local industries and the value of the naira, following the loss of over 3,500 workers due to high production costs.
The workers argued that since the current administration assumed office, the country has lost over nine million jobs due to the cost of production that has risen astronomically, even as the purchasing power of workers diminished.
The workers under the aegis of Steel and Engineering Workers Union (SEWUN) stated this at a workshop in Ibadan, with the theme: “Trade Unionism and the Enhancement of Workers in the Steel and Engineering industry.”
The guest speaker and Principal Partner, Bablink Consultancy, S.B. Ogunsade, expressed worries about the challenges confronting workers daily.
According to him, workers now operate under harsh conditions and live in a battered economy.
“Our pensioners have resorted to begging to survive. It is quite unfortunate, really unfortunate that even Labour Laws are not respected. Years ago, workers were not owed, they worked in conducive environments and even when they retire, they were paid their benefits in due time. All theses are old stories now.”
A communiqué signed by its National President, Comrade E.S Adigun and Senior Principal Deputy General Secretary, Comrade J.O Idown, the steel workers appealed to the National Assembly to remove the bureaucratic bottlenecks in the guise of voluntarism placed on the process for workers to belong to trade unions, adding that privatization has taken the jobs its members, especially as the privatized establishments are under performing.
They regretted that the country has become a laughing stock among the comity of nations due to bad leadership that has deliberately decided to wreck the country, and further impoverish the masses.
While they decried the flagrant abuse of the nation’s laws and rape of the treasury at various levels of government and agencies, the workers called on the Federal Government to give free hands to the institutions saddled with the responsibility of fighting financial crimes and others to operate.
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