The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) on Sunday said there was an urgent need to protect the objectives of sustainable enterprise, decent work and national development.
NECA’s director-general, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, said this in a statement ahead of the proposed August 2 protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress.
Mr Oyerinde expressed worry over what he described as the parlous state of the economy and recent mobilisation for civil action by NLC and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.
He, therefore, called for urgent action by the government and other stakeholders.
“A call for ‘strike and mass action’ by any social partner at this difficult time, in furtherance of the achievement of its objectives, could potentially cause a breakdown of law and order.
“This is also with attendant risk for organised businesses and the nation as a whole,“ he said.
The director general said strikes, threats of mass action or civil disobedience that could disrupt the economic activities of businesses would be counter-productive.
Mr Oyerinde noted that engagements between organised labour and the government might sometimes end in deadlock.
He said, however, when that happens, the consequential action by labour should not, in any way, hinder anyone from going about their businesses peacefully or cause anyone to be intimidated or harassed.
“We re-emphasise the importance of social dialogue, a potent instrument of the International Labour Organization, and a globally accepted mechanism for dispute resolution.
“While it should be noted that various ILO Conventions, recommendations, international treaties and local legislations guarantee certain rights and privileges to social partners, a call for mass action or civil disobedience is certainly not one of them,“ he said.
The NECA boss urged the government to urgently take immediate steps to ameliorate the economic trauma faced by workers, Nigerians and organised businesses.
He expressed concerns that many businesses were shut down and others were on the verge of closing.
According to him, such will exacerbate the current unemployment rate and drag many further down the poverty line.
“We strongly request that a coordinated implementation of the various pro-growth and other palliative schemes should commence,“ Mr Oyerinde said.