The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has opposed the registration of two new academic unions established by the federal government.
Remember that amid the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, presented letters of registration to two new unions; Congress for Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) and the Nigeria Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA).
However, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba who has now reacted to this, demanded that the recognition be revoked on the grounds that the unions’ registration broke the rules governing trade unions.
The NLC President further stated that the recognition is outlined to “destroy” cordial relations.
Wabba further asserted that in addition to Ngige previously disclosing that the new unions applied for registration in 2018, which, in his view, is a blatant contradiction of the minister’s assertion that they were regrouping as justification for granting them certificates, Article 3(2) of International Labor Organization (ILO) convention 87 on freedom of association and protection of the right to organize also makes it clear that public authorities should not interfere in the process.
According to the statement, It reads;
“The question on the mind of every rational Nigerian is what is your motive for registering CONUA and MAMDA? Is it the re-grouping of trade unions or is it a response to the application made by CONUA and MAMDA since 2018 to be registered unions?
“Unfortunately, you have accused us of interference when the opposite is the reality.
“Your biased attempt to ‘re-group’ an existing trade union or actually individuals (something our labour laws never contemplated) in utter disregard to tripartism which is a core pillar of ILO is an attempt to interfere with, infiltrate and balkanize an existing trade union — at best to score on vendetta and at worst to destroy cordial industrial relations in Nigeria.
“We are also concerned that your ’patriotic‘ intervention to rescue the so-called expelled and insufficiently represented academic staff in our universities came after you publicly admitted your utmost frustration with your inability to resolve the ASUU strike.
“Overall, Honourable Minister, we still want to believe that you were not properly advised on this matter.
“As the Chief Labour Law Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we believe that you will take advantage of our presentation of the true position of the law to redress this grave injustice done to our labour jurisprudence by the ‘awarding’ of trade union certificates to CONUA and NAMDA.”
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