CDWR CONDEMNS ANTI-LABOUR PRACTICES AT SERVAIR NIG LTD AND REFUSAL BY MANAGEMENT TO NEGOTIATE WITH WORKERS
CDWR CALLS ON SERVAIR MANAGEMENT TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF WORKERS
Workers of ServAir have been in labour dispute with management since 2018 over anti-labour practices as highlighted below.
Management has unilaterally reduced workers’ salaries and working conditions in 2015 without reaching an agreement with the union leadership or workers’ representatives in violation of the Labour Act. Similarly, the management unilaterally stopped the annual review of salary in line with the condition of service in violation of the existing condition of service and Labour Act.
Management refused to recognize the democratic rights of workers to belong to a union of their choice in violation of Section 40 of 1999 Constitution and Section 12 (4) of the Trade Unions Act (as amended). Management is consolidating the violation of the democratic rights of workers by dictating to workers to join the National Union of Hotel and Personal Services Workers (NUHPSW) instead of the workers’ choice of joining the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE). These steps and actions are undemocratic and unconstitutional.
In the last two years, management has embarked on the victimization of some workers through unjustifiable sacks either as a result of their roles in agitating for unionization or because they agitated for their rights.
Management’s attempt to sack all security workers and to be replaced by an outsourced private security outfit on a poorer working condition was resisted by the workers. The goal of management was to use the COVID-19 Pandemic as an excuse to sack all workers through a fraudulent redundancy exercise and introduce casualization and reemploy on poorer working conditions.
Management, using the COVID-19 lockdown as an excuse carried out a mass sack of workers and desperately declared redundancy in April 2020 leading to the sacking of 61 workers including all branch union leaders in violation of section 20 of the Labour Act. This shows clearly that the agenda of the management is to resist unionization and attack the working conditions of workers.
Workers in ServAir Nig Ltd have come under an immense attack of the management in the last two years. This prompted the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to intervene. This led to the picketing of the company on October 17, 18, 19 and 20, 2020 by workers; the picketing was suspended on October 20, 2020, after the management agreed to discuss with workers’ representatives including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and resolve the issues within a month.
After weeks of delay and management’s subterfuge, the first meeting held on 28th of November, 2020 but was inconclusive and was to be reconvened within few days. The Chairman of ServAir, Chief Olubukola Okunowo led other management staff to the meeting while Comrade Christopher Onyeka (Assistant General Secretary of NLC) and Comrade Funmi Sessi (State Chairperson of Lagos State Council) led workers to the meeting. All attempts to reschedule another meeting has been undermined by Chief Olubukola Okunowo who has been refusing to make himself available for another meeting.
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) calls on the ServAir management to:
- Reinstate all sacked workers and end all forms of victimization; pay all unpaid salaries since March 2020.
- Subject redundancy to a democratic process and negotiate with workers representatives should redundancy be inevitable.
- The management should abide by Sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and respect the democratic rights of workers to join a union of their choice.
CDWR commends the intervention of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and appeal to the Congress to deepen their intervention in the struggle by organizing another picketing/strike and take other necessary actions, this is the only way the management will be made to accede to the demands of workers.
Comrade Rufus Olusesan
Comrade Chinedu Bosah
National Publicity Secretary CDWR