…Says union not recognised under Act
16 September 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal government has declared that the United Labour Congress (ULC) was not yet a registered and recognised Federation of the Trade Unions in the country.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr.Chris Ngige, who stated this in Abuja, dismissed the September 15 ultimatum ULC issued.
The ULC comprising of major workers’ unions from the oil and gas companies, telecommunication and electricity sectors of the other Nigerian economy has issued a final notice on the proposed nationwide strike to Federal Government.
The Congress headed by General Secretary, National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) Mr. Joe Ajaero, and President of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade Igwe Achese, announced at the end of a meeting of its policy organ in conjunction with its Strike Committee to give final approval to the strike action as we await further response from the federal Government.
The seven day ultimatum threat notice dated 8th September, 2017, which is expected to elapse on Friday, 15th September, 2017, was sent to the Minister of Labour and Employment, and is expected to paralyze key sectors of the nation’s economy.
ULC is demanding that the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment set up a task force immediately to carry out factory inspection; that Government should review the privatisation of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Others are that the Army and Police should withdraw their men in different work places where they are currently stationed as they intimidate and harass workers in such establishments.
ULC also demands the immediate release of its “Registration Certificate” by the government.
But Ngige noted that Mr Didi Adodo, Secretary General of ULC gave false impression that the association is a government recognised Federation of Trade Unions.
According to Ngige, “Our immediate reaction is to remind the promoters of this Association that they are not yet a Federal Government recognised Federation of Trade Unions and hence cannot speak on behalf of any Trade union.
“The Trade Union Act. CAP T14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, is explicitly clear on how a group of Trade Unions can coalesce to form a Federation of Trade Unions.
“Section 35(1)(b) states inter alia “A Federation of Trade Unions may be registered by the Registrar if it is made up of 12 or more Trade Unions none of which shall have been a member of another registered Federation of the Trade Unions. Promoters of ULC should fulfill this requirement to qualify to be registered.”
The minister noted that, “To call out workers on essential services for a national strike without any major trade dispute with their direct employers will be tantamount to blatant violation of our extant labour laws and International standards.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Government will not fold her hands and allow any group of persons take the law into their hands. That is by brazenly threatening to commit Economic Sabotage by shutting down essential services in the Oil and Gas, Power, and Aviation Sectors as threatened by the promoters of ULC.
“Members of the Trade Unions who are sympathetic to the ULC mentioned are advised to go about their duties in the interest of a peaceful industrial relations environment and for the good of our national economy.”