The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has tackled the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige over the registration of two new academic unions in the Nigerian public university system.
Ngige wrote to the NLC on Tuesday, urging the labour leaders to rescind its opposition to the registration of two new academic unions in the Nigerian public university system.
But in a letter to the Minister, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, demanded for the withdrawal of the letters issued to the unions, on the grounds that their registration contravened the laws guiding trade unionism.
Channels Television had reported how the new unions – the Congress for Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) and the Nigeria Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) – received letters of recognition recently during a ceremony at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in Abuja.
Wabba argued that Section 3(2) of the Trade Union Act forbids and restricts the Minister from registering unions in sectors where a trade union already exists.
According to him, Section 5(2) of the Act provides for the gazetting of the registration of new trade unions and display of same for public objections for three months.
“Your biased attempt to re-group an existing trade union or actually individuals in utter disregard to tripartism which is a core pillar of the 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,” he stated.
“As the Chief Labour Officer of the Federal republic, 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.”