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SSUCOEN, is illegal, says Labour Ministry

By Funmi Komolafe
THE Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, has said the Non-Academic Staff of Colleges of Education under the aegis of the Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education of Nigeria (SSUCOEN), is not a registered trade union in the country and therefore advised stakeholders in the sector to ignore the group.

In a statement by the Registrar of Trade Unions, Mr. Idowu Fagbemi, on behalf of the ministry, posited that an unregistered union cannot be conferred with the rights and privileges of a registered unions.

The statement reads in part: “The attention of the federal ministry of labour and productivity has been drawn to a newspaper publication of Monday 20th July, 2008 on the strike action proposed by the Non-Academic Staff of Colleges of Education under the aegis of the Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education of Nigeria (SSUCOEN).

It is pertinent to bring to the notice of Stakeholders and the members of public that the so called SSUCOEN is not a registered trade union under the Trade Unions Act. CAP 437 of 1990. Section 2 (1) of the Act reiterated the fact that “a trade union can not perform any act in furtherance of the purposes for which it has been formed unless it has been registered under this act.”

“The Honourable Minister of Labour and Productivity, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode SAN wishes to remind all workers groups in the country to adhere strictly to provisions of the law in handling trade unions matters. He all emphasized that unregistered Union cannot be conferred with the rights and privileges of a registered unions, and as such all unregistered unions and associations like (SSUCOEN) should desist from issuing illegal strike threats otherwise government will invoke appropriate sanctions in accordance with the law.”

FG pleads with trade unions to obey IAP

THE Federal Government has advised all trade unions whose cases have been referred to the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) to comply with the directive of the Panel in order to achieve amicable resolution of the lingering conflicts.

At a meeting with a meeting with the officials of the Nigerian Medical Association in his effort to finalize the resolute of the Doctors’ demand, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, expressed surprise that some Trade Unions still refuse to call off the strike embarked upon despite the order of the IAP.

A statement by Mr.Samuel Olowookere, Assistant Director (Press), Ministry of Labour, said the minister pointed out that the referral of matters in dispute to IAP was by no means an attempt to undermine any union but a next legal step in the statutory process of dispute resolution which allows for thorough interpretation of the law with which all concerned are expected to comply.

He stressed that Trade Unions are democratic institutions established by law and must be ready at all times to obey the law and assured that the Federal Government remains committed to upholding the rule of law or meets the legitimate demands of Union and Association. The minister advised all trade unions concerned to submit their grievances to the machinery set up by law for resolution of disputes such as the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) and the National Industrial Court (NIC).

NASU votes to continue strike

STRIKING members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), last week voted to continue their ongoing strike rejecting the 20 percent salary increase awarded them by the Federal government.

Leaders of NASU said only government’s endorsement and implementation of the agreement reached with NASU and government negotiating team headed Chief Gamelie Onosode could end the strike.

Leaders of NASU argued that besides the fact that the 20 percent salary award was discriminatory, lower than what was awarded to other category of workers in the system, it was not a product of negotiation above, the issues at stake were more than salary but about the funding of the university system, about failing and decaying infrastructure among other things.

Last week, we published a story about the election of officials to run the affairs of Medical and Health Workers of Nigeria (MHWN) for the next four years.
The third paragraph instead of reading the conference earlier fixed for March 2009, was postponed because of litigation by ONE OF THE UNION’S STATE CHAIRMEN, read by the union’s state chairmen. The error is regretted.


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