Workers, under the aegis of Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies, have vowed to resist retrenchment of workers at the Nigerian Postal Service during the execution of a planned reform at the agency. The Federal Government intends to overhaul NIPOST in a bid to reposition the country’s postal and courier system for better performance.
Former Communications Minister, Adebayo Shittu, had disclosed of the plan to unbundle the agency into six different establishments, which would comprise a microfinance bank, a property and developing company, a transport and logistics company, an e-commerce company, an e-government services company as well as a digital services firm.
But feelers at NIPOST headquarters in Abuja indicated on Friday that there were fears among workers of the agency that the reform could lead to job losses. The labour union, however, said it was ready for a showdown with the government should it retrench workers of the agency in the name of reform.
The General Secretary of the SSASCGOC, Mr Ayo Olorunfemi, in an interview with our correspondent, said the government had at previous meetings with the labour said the reform would not involve job losses. But he admitted that the labour union could not trust the government to keep to its promise.
Olorunfemi said, “When they came up with the idea of unbundling or restructuring or whatever they called it, they said more jobs will be generated though the initiative. If government changes this approach of employing more people and decides to sack, we will also engage them by changing our strategy. When we discover that their sincerity is in doubt, we will change our strategy accordingly.”
He however stressed that the union was not opposed to reforms, as long as they would achieve the expected results. Olorunfemi added that NIPOST workers were prepared to learn new skills in order to properly fit into the expected new arrangement.
“If there will be requirements for new skills, which we know will certainly occur, we will also position our members to re-skill. Whatever technology you are bringing, it is just for them to learn that technology in order to measure up. We don’t have any problem with any form of reforms they want to implement at NIPOST as long as it is in line with our understanding that the reforms will increase the staff strength, rather than lead to job losses,” the SSASCGOC scribe added.
Describing NIPOST as a ‘sleeping giant’, Olorunfemi insisted that the proposed reform should rejuvenate the organisation.