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World Day of Social Justice Lawyers condemn unfair labour practices

The lawyers stressed the need for mutual respect and collaboration of employers and employees.

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World Day of Social Justice play

World Day of Social Justice

(The Borgen Project)

As Nigeria commemorates World Day of Social Justice, legal practitioners, specialising in labour matters, have condemned prevailing unfair practices in the workplaces.

Some of the lawyers made their views known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, while reacting to the 2017 theme of the day: "Preventing Conflict and Sustaining Peace through Decent Work.’’

They listed unlawful termination of appointment, illegal dismissal, wrongful suspension, demotion and premature retirements as the dominant labour suits in Nigeria.

Mr Raphael Ihejirika, while stressing the need for fairness, said certain inequalities prevailed in both public and private institutions warranting the numerous labour cases in courts.

"Almost every institution is in court for one alleged injustice or unfairness on its members of staff because they have refused to follow due processes on the laws guiding them."

"When you listen to witnesses give their statements in court, you would be appalled at the unfair treatment meted out by employers."

"The good thing is that the court is up and doing and ready to broker peace and administer justices on these cases,’’ he said.

Other lawyers, who spoke with NAN, decried the trend of casual workers initiated by companies to avoid paying employee entitlements and benefits.

“This is a ploy used by private companies and banks to deny payment of benefits to their workers."

“Some may have worked for many years as either causal or contract staff with nothing to show for it; they are very easy to dismiss without lengthy lawsuits,’’ Mr Adim Pius, a lawyer, said.

Another lawyer, Mrs Amina Mustapha on her part, frowned at fraudulent practices in workplace, noting that wrong computation of employees’ salaries and other emoluments was punishable by law.

She also condemned sexual harassment at the workplace which according to her, often led to illegal frame-ups, suspensions, and in some cases, termination of appointments.

The lawyers stressed the need for mutual respect and collaboration of employers and employees in promoting peace to boost the Nigerian economy. 

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