The MoU that ended 5-year-old labour crisis
Front row: Ayuba Wabba(4th left); Joe Ajaero(4th right), and other labour leaders after the unification of NLC and ULC on Thursday in Abuja.

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

The five years old labour crisis that hit the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, which culminated into the breakaway and formation of United Labour Congress of Nigeria, ULC, was finally resolved on Thursday in Abuja, via a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed by both camps.

Recall that in the wake of the disputed 2015 delegates’ conference of March 2015, which produced Mr. Ayuba Wabba of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, M&HWN, as President, Ajaero of National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, and over 25 affiliates including the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, alleged fraud and broke away to form a faction of NLC, which morphed into ULC.

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Since the breakaway and formation of ULC, the vacuum created by the exit of NUEE and NUPENG and other private-sector unions have negatively affected the activities of NLC, especially in mass actions against government’s perceived anti-workers and anti-masses policies.

Vanguard gathered that before yesterday, both parties had been meeting to resolve their differences.

However, on Thursday, their differences were resolved in a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed by Wabba, Nasir Idris, Nojeem Yasin, Ibrahim Kheel and Emma Ugboaja on behalf of NLC, and Ajaero, Williams Akporeha, Kasim Kadiri, Kabir Gusau and Didid Adodo, on behalf of ULC.

They resolved, among others, that: “That the ULC led by the former Deputy President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, has committed to returning to full participation in the affairs of Congress as full affiliates of Congress;

“The unions in the ULC are to nominate a Deputy President, a Vice President, an Auditor and a co-opted member that will form part of the current National Administrative Council, NAC, of the NLC;

“Two officers will be admitted to the SAC of Congress in states, where the ULC has reasonable presence in the positions of a Vice Chairperson and a co-opted member;

“Women Committee officers of the group will be admitted into the Congress Women Commission with their Chairpersons at the national and state levels becoming co-officers;

“A three-person committee made up of Congress General Secretary, Congress Chairperson of Establishment Committee and Williams Akporeha, President NUPENG and Deputy President of ULC, will profile the seven staff of the ULC and fix them immediately as appropriate within the staff structure of Congress;

“Congress shall not bear any liabilities incurred by the ULC prior to the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding, MoU;

“Unions that make up the ULC shall commence remittance of check off dues to Congress from July 2020 and shall consequently be bound by the financial rules and regulations of Congress as it applies to affiliates;

“The quantum of the sum each affiliate of ULC commence to be paying at the resumption will be counted for such as having been paid to NLC during the period of interregnum for purposes of delegates’ conference and others.

“Positions created into the Congress Structure in clauses i-v above shall lapse at the expiration of the current tenure of the Congress leadership in 2023;

“There will be a policy or constitutional amendment to address the concerned issues of recognising the existence of private and public sector unions and need for recognition, respect, sense of belonging and equal opportunity to serve and lead;

“The current leadership structure as captured in the Congress Constitution shall be applied in filling positions of elective offices of Congress in 2023 and

“The parties commit to pursue a reinvigorated action in defence and protection of the rights and welfare of Nigerian workers moving forward,” the NLC/ULC MoU added.

Vanguard

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