By Dr. Charles Omole
I don’t think our labour unions understand their roles anymore but have become political activists and loony leftists. How do you justify a National Strike based on assault on one person in one state based on local political situation.
Why should workers in 35 states and FCT become victims of what happened in one state. I believe it’s time to reform our labour laws as a matter of urgency.
Key elements should include some of the following:
1. There should be a democratic threshold from labour members mandating action before any strike is allowed.
2. Strikes should be restricted only to the union in dispute. The idea of solidarity strike MUST be abolished. Why should a union embark on strike simply to support another union; when itself have no dispute in its sector.
3. Notice of a legal strike should be extended to at least a month. In some countries; labour strikes are announced months in advance.
4. No work no pay must be rigorously enforced.
5. The strike action of a union should only be binding of its members. Workers should retain the legal right not to join a union. As such; non-members should be free to work on strike days.
6. Violent and disruptive Picketing must be made unlawful. While standing with placards by office gate is ok; union members must not be allowed to obstruct or prevent others from entering the premises on strike days. My right to work must not be obstructed by your right to strike. It is very common to see labour activists going from office to office chasing out workers in the name of enforcement of strike.
7. There should be automatic jail sentence for labour leaders who do not call off a strike after valid court orders barring the strike.
A few of these provisions already exist in our laws but a robust enforcement is required. Labour unions have become fiefdoms for radical activists who see themselves as an alternative to democratic government.
In law; there is a settled doctrine of proportionality. That is why there is no death penalty for stealing a bicycle as that will be disproportionate. To throw an entire country into chaos; disrupt millions of lives because of an assault on ONE man is disproportionate.
Enough is enough of these largely self serving disruption by tin-god labour leaders. Where were the unions when CBN threw the nation into chaos and misery early this year? For unions that represent at most 20% of our total labour force to hold the entire nation to ransom is unreasonable and unacceptable.