The faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress led by Comrade Joe Ajaero yesterday laid siege at the headquarters of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) over its alleged role in the action against banks that sacked their workers.
The action started in the early hours of yesterday with the blocking of the entrance into the association’s premises thereby disrupting its 59th Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled to take place yesterday.
The protest soon turned free-for-all as counter protesters who were against the action arrived at the scene causing guests, journalists and passers-by to scamper for safety.
In his address, Comrade Joe Ajearo, faulted NECA for taking a preventive action against planned picketing of banks that sacked their staff recently, saying the Director-General did not have the moral right to mount a campaign against the planned action, as he emphasised that his group was not consulted in the said meeting designed to stay action on the planned picketing.
He said as an institution, the NECA ought to be in the vanguard of promoting the rights of workers and adding value to their lives instead of perpetrating moves to debase them through promotion of policies that encourage mass sack.
The Director-General of the NECA, Mr.Olusegun Oshinowo, at a press conference, frowned at the action of the splinter group of the NLC, saying “their action is a dangerous precedent to the labour movement in Nigeria”.
He described the group as a rogue union, adding that the NECA would not dialogue with the group on the premise that “the Ajaero faction is not recognised by the law”.
“The event that happened today was a breach of the right of workers who were denied access to the premises of the NECA,” he said.
He advised the splinter group to go to court for redress rather than resorting to “act of terrorism” to resolve an industrial issue.
Mr Olusegun blamed the police who were brought in to monitor the protest for looking the other way, while violence was being unleashed on the people.