Construction Workers Cripple Works Unit With Strike
BEVERLY HILLS, March 14, (THEWILL) – Construction works across the country are at a standstill as workers in the industry continue their ongoing nationwide strike.
The strike began last Tuesday after various ultimatums and appeals to industry employers to negotiate upward review of salary and allowances failed.
The workers, under the umbrella of National Union of Civil Engineering,Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW), are demanding increase in their salary and allowances, arguing that massive layoffs of their colleagues had increased the burden of work on those left.
According to Amechi Asugwuni, President of the union, the employers are avoiding the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) to discuss the bi-annual review of workers salary.
“The employers ignored the ultimatum the union gave and did not bother to call us for a meeting. Instead choose to write letters for an industrial relation matters.
“We are saying that no NJIC, no work. Our members will not return to work until the few of them that are employed are well remunerated,'' the union president said.
He said that the union did not protest when workers were being sacked because of recession in the economy and one person now performs the job of two or three persons.
He argued that it was conventional practice in the industry to review and raise the salary of construction workers every two years and not based on the state of the economy.
Asugwuni noted that “workers in about 350 construction companies in Nigeria were on strike and until the employers return to the negotiation table, the strike would not be called off.”
Story by David Oputah