The National Association of Scrap And Waste Dealers Employers of Nigeria (NASWDEN) has declared indefinite strike to protest against alleged exploitation of its members by steel rolling mills.
The indefinite strike was sequel to the recent temporary closure of the mills by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), which led to crash in the price of scraps.
NASWDEN president, John Obeh, told newsmen at the association’s operation office in Lagos, that they were embarking on indefinite strike against the standard practice of steel rolling mills issuing a 90-day notice to enable NASWDEN members adjust.He alleged that the companies took the advantage of unexpected temporary closure by SON to slash the price of scraps they supplied.
According to the NASWDEN leader, the prices of scraps prior to the February 5, 2020 closure were between N136,000 and N145,000 per tonne, adding that when the temporary closure was lifted by SON, the companies reduced the price to between N120,000 and N125,000 per tonne.
“It is a standard practice that the steel rolling mills give a 90-day notice prior to the reduction of price to enable our members adjust to the new price. But the temporary closure of the companies by SON has led the mills to take advantage of our stranded members who loaded scraps to the companies because they are not aware of the closure,” Obeh said.
He then asked the companies to revert to the old purchasing price tag before the closure, or the union, all its members, agents and suppliers would embark on an indefinite strike from February 19, 2020.
“There will be total lockdown. There will be no loading and supplying in any part of the country, as we urge the steel rolling mills to revert the price to the normal price. We also warn and call on our members to abide by the directives of the association, as our taskforce will be deployed to ensure total compliance, while defaulters will be apprehended and dealt with appropriately,” he declared.
The association also frowned on the importation of iron billets by the steel rolling mills, an action the NASWDEN leaders described as a “threatening situation to our members”.He said the recent importation of billets led to some of his members losing their businesses, an action, which in the long run would create hardship and increase the unemployment rate in the country.