NLC takes Nigeria to ILO over alleged proscription plan
Ngige denies claim, to contest senatorial seat
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has taken the Federal Government to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) over provisions in the proposed labour law that seek to automatically proscribe the Congress if it fails to comply with its provisions within two weeks of becoming law.
Presenting its observation before the committee on standards at the on-going International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, described the bill, tagged “Collective Labour Relations Bill,” a clandestine move aimed at exterminating labour movement from the country.
But the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who confided in The Guardian that he planned to contest a senatorial election in the 2019 general election, debunked the NLC’s claims as untrue, saying the Federal Government is committed to promoting peaceful industrial atmosphere.
Ngige said: “I can confirm to you that I will be contesting the senatorial seat next year.”
He said the complaint of the NLC is an internal matter that conscious efforts have been taken to resolve.
Wabba quoted the proposed law as saying: “If after two years of commencement of the application of this Act, and the Nigeria Labour Congress has not amended her constitution to conform to this Act, it shall stand proscribed.”
The NLC president, who stated that the mention of the NLC in a draft proposal for amendment betrayed the undisguised malicious intention of the amendment, urged the ILO to call on the Nigerian government to allow for genuine and good faith engineering of the intended reforms of the labour laws so as to bring them in conformity to the provisions of this convention.
It also urged the ILO committee on standards to ensure that the Nigerian government works genuinely with the high level mission that the committee of experts has severally proposed, which will benefit Nigeria, her industrial relations practices and ultimately, her economy.
The Congress, which also condemned the mass sack of workers by the Kaduna State government and the killing of Abdulmumuni Yakubu, the Branch Chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) of the Kogi State University, stated that the Kaduna State government further violated Section 16 (a) of the Trade Union Act, which makes it mandatory for employers to deduct and remit union members’ dues to the trade unions.
Besides, it said Kogi State had refused to abide by collective bargaining agreement concerning the payment and protection of wages as workers and pensioners in that state are owed over seven months salaries and pension benefits.
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