The organised labour has kicked against the practice of trade unions representing junior workers, negotiating terms, and agreement on behalf of senior employees in Nigeria’s industrial space.
This is in reaction to the lingering issue between the Pulp Paper and Paper Products, Printing and Publishing Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PPAPPPAPSSAN), and the National Union of Printing, Publishing and Paper Products Workers (NUPPPPROW).
According to the organised labour, the issue of jurisdictional scope has been resolved by the National Industrial Court in a judgement which separated the scope of membership of both unions.
Similarly, the National President of PPAPPPAPSSAN, Dada Joseph, in a statement on Thursday, explained that based on the judgement, workers from the supervisory level, cannot associate with NUPPPPROW, which is limited to junior workers in the sector.
He stated that “no junior workers trade union can negotiate, represent or defend the course of senior employees anywhere in Nigerian for lack of locus standi. This is the hard reality and the position of the law in trade unionism in Nigeria.
“It may be pertinent to inform the workers and the employers in the industry that Nigeria National Industrial Court is the final arbiter in all trade union disputes in Nigeria,” he stressed.
Mr Joseph stated that the confusion between both unions is peculiar in the industrial space and is fuelled by employers choosing which of the two unions to operate in the company, rather than having the two simultaneously as provided in labour laws. This, he said, is in spite of the Federal Ministry of labour’s several clarifications on the matter.
He urged all workers and employers in the sector to be wary of mischief makers who may be parading or distributing notice of appeal and embrace the realities of the NIC Judgement.
The NIC in a judgement delivered in May this year said that the jurisdictional scope of NUPPPPROW, the defendant, shall be limited to junior staff while that of the claimant, (PPAPPPAPSSAN), to senior staff from supervisory or equivalent level upward within the sector.
“An order of this Honourable Court is hereby made mandating, directing, and compelling the defendant to immediately restrict its membership to junior staff within the pulp paper and paper products, printing, and publishing companies and industries in Nigeria.
“An order of this Honourable Court is hereby made directing the defendant to immediately de-unionise senior staff of the paper products industry and the printing and publishing industry wherever they may be found in Nigeria.”