The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has called on the government to review all labour laws to engender good and robust industrial relations system in the country.
The Association noted that the mediation aspect of the labour laws should be the focus of the proposed review.
In his address to the National Executive Council meeting of PENGASSAN in Warri, Delta State on Thursday, the President, Comrade Babatunde Ogun, said: “There is need to review some of the country’s labour laws that are now obsolete, especially the aspect of the law that deals with mediation.
“Under the current laws no power is given to the Minister of Labour and Productivity while mediating in industrial dispute but the minister can only advice the parties. The law should be reviewed in a way that the minister will get power to make binding pronouncements on parties while mediating.”
Ogun condemned the inability of the government to enforce all conventions and other extant labour standards of the International Labour Organsiation that have been ratified by the Federal Government.
He said: “The government should evolve political will to enforce all conventions of the ILO and should not just leave Nigerian workers at the mercy of the employers, who are more profit oriented at the expense of developing human capacity in the country.
“Most of these conventions have provisions to ensure human dignity, improve workers’ welfare and protect workers against degradation while at work.”
While calling for the review of selection process of judges of the National Industrial Court, the union leader expressed dismay at some of the judgements of the court, alleging that this shows that some of the judges did not have experience in extant labour laws and history.
“We discover that the pronouncement by some judges of the NIC leaves much to be desired, as some of them have demonstrated lack of knowledge on the extant Labour laws, Nigerian constitution and the international labour conventions,” he stated