Casual workers, another form of ‘modern day slavery’ – NLC

President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, has described the prevalent practice of casualising workers by some companies in the country as another form of ‘modern day slavery’.

Wabba, who disclosed this on Thursday during a visit to the Speaker of the House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila, alongside other members of the NLC leadership, said the practice could only be ended through legislation.

He appealed to the Speaker and other members of the House of Reps to hasten the labour act amendment and put an end the act.

The Labour leader also appealed to the green chambers leader to strengthen labour unions through its legislations, as can be seen in other countries.

He added that when amending the Labour Act, labour unions should be made more independent and every Nigerian worker should be allowed to join the union of his or her choice.

Responding, Gbajabiamila assured the congress leaders that the House of representatives is willing to work with the union, in line with its motto “Nation Building, a Joint Task”.

He noted that the House of Representatives already has plans to amend the Labour Act, and urged the union leaders to speedily bring in their input as time is of essence.

He assured them that strengthening the NLC, which happens to be an umbrella body of unions in the formal and informal sector, is key as it would encourage a stronger democracy in the country protecting the interest of Nigerians.

The Labour Act (Amendment) Bill 2019 awaiting second reading by the House proposes criminalising employing of workers on casual contracts beyond six months.

It also proposes that any casual workers sacked by an employer after six months will be entitled to the benefits of full-time workers for six months, and prohibits outsourcing to third parties.