A rights activist, Mr KeneChukwu Okeke, has introduced the Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria, TOAN, to Anambra State tricycle workers, during an elaborate ceremony in Onitsha, at the Patrick Okolo Memorial Primary School Courtyard.
Addressing a large crowd of tricycle workers who gathered to show solidarity on the need and struggle for an effective trade union in Anambra State, Okeke said, “TOAN, is the only umbrella body authorised by law to co-ordinate, monitor, and regulate the activities of all tricycle workers nationwide.”
He also said that TOAN protect the interests of tricycle workers, and collect dues, levies or proceeds from sales of tickets to three-wheelers in Nigeria being a registered and recognised Trade Union by the Registrar of Trade Unions under Form B of the trade unions act, Cap. T.14 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and affiliated to the Trade Union Congress, TUC.”
Okeke said, “Note, KKAWAAPU Amalgamated Tricycle Union of Anambra State being a body registered under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990 is not a trade union, thence cannot engage in profit making or profit sharing activities, collection of dues including levies or proceeds from sale of tickets to tricycle owners and operators in Anambra State or any part of Nigeria.
“Prior to the introduction of the trade union today, it is pertinent to note that KKAWAAPU Amalgamated Tricycle Union of Anambra State has been illegally collecting dues, levies or proceeds from sales of tickets to tricycle workers in Anambra State, employing all forms of coercion, intimidation, violence or force meted against tricycle workers; and many tricycle workers were either forced out of the trade, maimed or murdered.
“Issues of trade unionism come directly under item 34 of the exclusive legislative list of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and also under the TUC Cap. T14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, it is only the Registrar of Trade Unions that has power to register a trade union, and by extension, to direct or recognize the affiliation of a body to a trade union subject of course to the overriding review powers of the National Industrial Court, NIC.
“The Registrar of Trade Unions has not directed or recognised the affiliation of KKAWAAPU Amalgamated Tricycle Union of Anambra State to any trade union or federation of trade unions connected with the tricycle trade or industry. Section 45 of the Trade Unions Act is clear and unambiguous to the effect that Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA, shall not apply to any trade union or to any federation of trade unions, and the registration of any such body under CAMA shall be void.”
He appealed to the placard-bearing tricycle workers to exercise patience and to ensure through lawful means, the conduct of elections into the State and Branch executive committees of TOAN, Anambra State Chapter.
The Anambra State Government was further warned against any “unlawful and unjustified interference” with the activities of trade unions which may impair or violate the rights of trade unionists in the state.
Other issues discussed are the intimidation, harassment and extortion of tricycle workers in Anambra State which was equally decried and condemned by different speakers at the event, notable amongst them is the DPO of Fegge Divisional Police Station, Mr Rabiu Garba.