If threat by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to mobilise the financial sector against Alpha Beta is given life, the effect may rebound on the economy and cause great disruptions in the country. This follows the picketing of Alpha Beta, a financial company allegedly owned by former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, which also consults for the state on internally generated revenue.
The company was accused of sacking over 300 workers recently amidst questionable circumstance and unwholesome labour practices. Following the picketing, which prevented workers of the company, and others whose offices are situated at the Lagos Water House Complex, the TUC and Association of Senior Staff of Banking, Insurance and Financial Institution of Nigeria (ASSIBI) warned that if after seven days the illegal sacking was not reversed, then, labour groups would be mobilised against Alpha Beta.
According to staff of the company, the 300 staff were sacked for expressing their right to freedom of association by joining a financial trade union. Speaking at the picketing of the company, yesterday in Lagos, Secretary General of TUC, Lawal Musa said that it was “shocking to note that such a company still exists in Nigeria where workers’ freedom of association and rights are being restricted by management for no just cause.”
According to Musa, the company’s management, as a matter of urgency, should recall the sacked workers to their duties, adding that the “picketing was a warning as the TUC is expected to come back with all its members to the company next week if no action is taken.” He lambasted management of the company for sacking workers “just because they decided to join an association in labour union”, adding that henceforth “all eyes will be on the company especially their day-to-day activities. Musa warned that TUC would mobilise its members in the banking sector, oil and gas sector and other sectors of the economy to join in an industrial action that could bring the country’s economy to a standstill.
He noted that Alpha Beta had shown that it was an anti-labour company operating in Nigeria. “This is just a lesson. By next week Wednesday, if all righteousness is not completed, we shall be back here in full force. We shall make sure that all our affiliates in the banking sector, oil and gas sector all are put to action. Unfortunately, there will be people that will be victims and the ordinary Nigerians may suffer.
It is not our intention but if they must hear we have warned them. We want government of the day to know that we are not here to embarrass anyone but we are here because some people are embarrassing themselves and they must call them to order”, Musa said. Also speaking, National Vice President, ASSIBIF, Oyintola Soye said management of Alpha Beta decided to sack 300 workers last week Thursday after the association had petitioned the Ministry of Labour that the company’s management was trying to compel workers not to join labour unions in the country.