The president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba on Wednesday said organized labour halted the plans by many employers to sack workers, especially in the banking sector, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing reporters in Abuja on the occasion of the 2020 World Decent Work Day, Wabba said many employers of labour latched on the economic downturn caused by the pandemic to lay off poor workers.
He said: “We would recall upon the first phase of the easing of the lockdown, a bank fired 800 of its staff. The bank was only testing the waters as other banks were already primed to follow suit. It took the intervention of the Nigeria Labour Congress to halt the anti-workers purge.
“Through the instrumentality of the Labour Civil Society Situation Room on COVID-19 which we set up both at the national level and in all our state councils, the congress wrote strongly worded letters to the Federal Government, the Central Bank of Nigeria and other regulatory agencies warning of the dire consequences of offering workers as the sacrificial lamb during the pandemic.”
Wabba queried what happened to the surplus profits realised from “the toil and sweat of workers when the going was good.”