Sunday 18 December 2016

United Labour Congress formed

The crisis rocking the Nigeria labour movement worsened yesterday as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) splinter group led by Joe Ajaero inaugurated a new labour centre in Lagos.
The new labour centre recognised as the United Labour Congress (ULC) is coming after almost two years of battle for supremacy between the Ayuba Wabba led NLC and Ajaero as a result of the election crisis that tore the number one labour centre apart.
Speaking at the inauguration, Ajaero, who was elected the president at the inaugural delegate conference said the centre was formed to meet the yearnings of the Nigerian workers.
According to him, this was done, “after exhaustive deliberation on the myriads of worsening national issues confronting Nigeria, Nigerian workers and the citizenry and the seeming lack of coherent and adequate response from critical support groups that ought to assist government develop appropriate strategies to engage them and having reviewed the current character and dynamics of the trade union movements in the globe and especially in Nigeria.”

He added that it was also borne out of the fact that the existing trade union federations may no longer offer adequate and cohesive platforms to actualise the group’s vision and original mandate as trade unions within the ambits of the national and global realities.

He lamented that the labour movement in Nigeria has lost track of the original purpose of trade union movement which is to primarily serve, protect and project the interests and expectations of workers all over the world and subsequently that of the billions of alienated masses, thus creating a world that is fair, equitable and sustainably progressive for all sections of the global family to thrive‎.
He added, “In the recent past and currently, Nigerian workers and her peoples, including Nigeria and government have not received the vibrant and progressive support of the movement in designing and “actioning” program and policies that make for effective governance.
Thus, for a progressive nation, the character and nature of the movement in Nigeria today has begun to impede and undermine its capacity to aggressively deliver on its promises as a platform for rendering continuous service to Nigerian workers, masses and government.
There is an unfortunate disconnect between the trade union movement from its primary and secondary constituencies; a disconnect between it and the workers including the masses and the nation’s governance structures and processes it ought to support.”
Ajaero said in the bid to fulfill its purpose and reposition the trade union movement as a progressive partner to all structures involved in the pursuit of national development, the group would seek registration under the relevant statutes in Nigeria.
“The Nigeria law provides registration for a labour centre which has 12 members and now we have up to 23, so we have fulfilled all the requirements of the law”, he said.
Ajaero however, said that the emergence of the United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC) rather than weaken the labour movement, proposes the strengthening of the nation’s labour movement, generating a new vigour that would re-awaken all the necessary elements that are needed to make Nigerian workers strong, present labour as a creative partner that has strategic benefits for its publics especially the employers and the government.
It would be recalled that former President, Olusegun Obasanjo ‎midwifed the law which allows proliferation of labour centres and brought about the registration of Trade Union Congress (TUC) to weaken the strength of the Nigeria Labour Congress then.


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