The organised labour on Friday urged the Federal Government and workers to disregard strike threats by the unregistered United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC).
Mr Ayuba Wabba, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), gave the advice at a news conference jointly addressed in Abuja by the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC).
Newsmen recall that the ULC had earlier issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government which expired on Sept. 8.
The unregistered congress issued another seven-day strike notice that will expire on Sept. 15 with a threat to shut down oil, power and aviation sectors.
ULC said it was pressing for the following demands – that the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment should set up a task force immediately to carry out factory inspections and review the privatisation of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Others are – the Army and Police should leave their different work places as they were intimidating and harassing workers in such establishments in addition to immediate release of its registration certificate.
Newsmen also recalled that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, recently said that Federal Government had not recognized the ULC as a federation of trade unions.
Wabba said the ministry of labour and workers should disregard the strike threats by the illegal association and that the supervising ministry should act fast in enforcing the laws governing trade unionism in the country.
He said the main promoters of the so-called new federation are individuals from NUEE and NUPENG both of which were affiliates of the NLC.
He said that by the extant laws, as passed some years ago, those individuals could not form a parallel federation.
According to him, the section on Registration of Trade Unions in Part 1, Section 2, is very clear that un-registered trade unions and federation(s) are prohibited from functioning.
“Under this section, a federation of trade unions shall not come into existence until it is registered.
“So, we feel constrained to make the following comments on the unfolding situation.
“In spite of the listing of their 12 points demand, we have no doubt that those behind the ultimatum were only hoping to blackmail the Federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to register their association as a central labour organisation.
“ We have no doubt that the officials of the Ministry of Labour would deal with the situation.
“This is because the laws of the country governing labour relations are very clear on the procedure guiding registration of trade unions and trade union centres, “he said.
Mr Bobboi Kaigama, the President of TUC, said that the promoters of ULC were trying to take advantage of the current security situation in the country.
He said that Nigerians needed to know that the ULC was not a legitimate organisation duly recognised by the laws of the land.
“These are individuals who find it difficult to accept the will of the Nigerian workers as very clearly demonstrated during the NLC elections in 2015,” he said.
According to Kaigama, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has acted within the confines of the law by not registering the association. (NLC)