National Union of Civil Engineering Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers, NUCEFWW, has disclosed that at least 50,000 workers lost their jobs in the nation’s construction and furniture industry in the last one year.
President of the Union, Mr. Amechi Asugwuni, announced this, yesterday, in Ibadan, Oyo State, while addressing members at the opening ceremony of the union’s 11th Education/Industrial Relations conference, with the theme, ‘Organisational Changes and Challenges for Trade Union Leaders.’
Asugwuni lamented that the jobs losses were caused by non-payment, delay in payment for certified completed jobs, redundancies, among others.
“We demand that the Federal Government should put in place definite regulatory framework to revive the wood and furniture industry.
“The regulatory framework should be enacted into law by the government with the political will to implement the framework and accompanying punitive measure for violators.
“As a major stakeholder in the wood and furniture industry, we urge the Federal Government to put in place necessary machinery that will place Nigeria on the same page with the rest of the world by managing our climate so as not to suffer the effects of climate change or global warming.
“Government should also ensure that there is adequate security at our forests and bushes to prevent further deforestation.
“Our position on contract and casual employment is that it is explorative and has the tendency to degrade jobs.
“We are reiterating here today that we will continue to resist casualisation and ensure fair, sufficient compensation and good welfare for all categories of our members through unrestricted legitimate rights to union activities, collective bargaining and other statutory provisions for interactions, engagements and resolution of issues with other social partners entrenched in the industry.
“Another issue plaguing our industry is expatriate quota abuse , non-compliant with the Nigeria Content Development Act and refusal by some employers, especially contracting firms from China, Korea and other parts of Asia to respect our labour laws and rights to freedom of association and assembly as provided for in the Nigerian constitution.
“We request that the government, especially the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, and the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, should step up efforts to check influx of the so-called expatriates into Nigeria. We have resolved to take whatever labour actions legally deemed appropriate to end this and other anti-labour practices in our industry,” he said.