Staff Union Strike: NAICOM calls for Labour Ministry intervention … says Kari Not Arrested By DSS
The National Insurance Commission, NAICOM has expressed dissatisfaction over industrial action embarked upon by its staff under the auspices of the amalgamated Union of public corporations, Civil Service Technical Recreational Services Employment (AUPCTRE), even as it called for intervention of the Ministry of Labour and Empolyment
The commission said it has honoured invitation sent to it by the National Assembly to defend its budget performance.
A statement from the commission made available by its Head Corporate Communication, Rassaq Salami said Commissioner of insurance, Mohammed Kari was at the senate on 23rd November 2016 to honour his earlier invitation from the senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions on the commission’s 2016 budget performance.
Salami confirmed that the Commissioners visit to the Senate as against report that he was arrested by the Department of State Service.
Salami however, explained that the workers’ union had shut the business premises of the Commission and prevented access into the building, and to maintain law and order, the DSS attached to the Commission as a government organisation waded into the crises.
He said the operatives ensured that management left the premises without being attacked as the protest was getting violent.
The union switched off the IT facility and lights in the premises, just as the DSS assisted the Commissioner to exit the premises because he needed to attend a meeting with the Senate Committee on Finance and Insurance.
Meanwhile, the commission in an effort to stop the ongoing strike has called for the intervention of the Honorable Minister of Labour and Employment.
This is contained in a letter signed by its Director, Admin and Human Resource, Adamu Balanti and made available to newsmen.
According to him, the industrial action was embarked upon without notice to management and without recourse to the laid down dispute resolution procedur
The letter thus read: “We write to formally complain on the industrial action embarked upon this morning by the staff of the commission under the auspices of the amalgamated Union of public corporations, Civil Service Technical Recreational Services Employment (AUPCTRE).
“We were surprise that the Union embarked on the industrial action by locking up the office premises and sitting outside the gate with placards chanting songs. The striking staff shutdown the system through switching off the internet, intercom and power services. Presently, the employees are still outside the premise and we have word that some of them proceeded to other sensitive places to continue the action.
“This industrial action has been embarked upon without notice to management and without recourse to the laid down dispute resolution procedure. The management is aware of the cause of the dispute that led to the action taken by the union.
“Kindly recalled that management had earlier written to you regarding the interpretation of the jurisdiction scope of the amalgamated Union of public corporation, Civil Service technical and recreational services employment as currently constituted in our organization. We would want to fully implement the contents of the earlier letter from the Registrar of Trade Union. on the jurisdictional scope of AUPCTRE.
“Kindly take immediate steps to facilitate the foregoing and also intervene to stop this action by the union in the interest of peace and progress of our organization and the nation at large.”
It would be recalled that staffs of NAICOM early this morning embarked on striking protesting with placards over the transfer of its union Chairman to the Inspectorate Directorate office which was recently relocated from the head office in Abuja to the Lagos Control office for better service delivery to stakeholders.
The relocation according to Naicom is part of an ongoing restructuring exercise aimed at improving efficiency of the workforce and bringing the Commission closer to the regulated entities for effective insurance industry supervision.
The commission further disclosed that some of the affected staff have been transferred back to abuja on the basis of health ground and marriage.
It noted that the Directorate is saddled with the responsibility of conducting on-site inspection of insurance entities for the Commission.
It is imperative to note that over 90 percent of insurance operators are headquartered in Lagos being the hub of commercial and economic activities in the country. Thus, this exercise will ensure prompt and regular inspection of these insurance firms – Insurance Companies and Brokers.
The insurance industry operators are expected to take advantage of this proximity to the Inspectors to enjoy quicker and efficient service delivery from the Regulator.
The commission also disclosed that the management will meet with the union soonest to see to their grievances in relation to some of their members that were affected in the transfer.