The United Labour Congress (ULC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have tasked the new Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, to review the extant Labour and Trade Union Laws in the country.
While the ULC made the call in a letter of congratulation written to Ngige on his re-appointment as the minister of labour, the TUC made the demand in a statement issued to welcome him back to the ministry and signed by the TUC President, Comd. Quadri Olaleye.
In the letter signed by the ULC President, Comd. Joe Ajaero, the ULC commended the resolve by Ngige to ensure the review of the existing Labour laws during his first terms as the Labour minister; and urged him to immediately resuscitate the move to achieve it.
Comd. Ajaero said: “We still remember your insistence and determination in pursuing the review of all the Labour and Trade Union Laws in Nigeria so as to plug all the loopholes that allow malicious and wicked employers to abuse and violate the rights and privileges of Nigerian workers.
“It was your stated avow that Nigerian workers must be protected and Nigerian jobs kept for Nigerians that endeared us to your headship of that Ministry. Though you believed that all actors within the nation’s Industrial Relations sphere must show fairness in their dealings with other social partners, you informed us that the weak must be protected but that overall we must all have eyes on making sure that the nation’s economy made progress.”
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He added: “ULC once again congratulates you and welcomes you back to the family even as we urge you to use this opportunity to resurrect the review of the extant Labour and Trade Union Laws in Nigeria which you had started in your last leadership of the Ministry.
“We would request that efforts are made to ensure that the nation runs a more inclusive and democratic trade union movement thus a liberal, just and fair Industrial Relations clime in Nigeria. It is only by doing this that we conform to our traditions as social partners and a democratic nation. Any form of dictatorship or bandage anywhere enslaves all so, the undemocratic practices within this sector must be purged through your concerted effort.”
The ULC is the third trade union centre in the country, but presently seeking a legal backing to be registered as a federation of trade unions.
However, while speaking to Labour correspondents shortly after he was sworn in, Ngige explained that the ULC could not be registered during his firs tenure because of the provisions of the Labour Act.
He pointed out that the ULC has some affiliate trade unions under it but stated that while the Trade Union Act ask for a brand new 12 unions, most of the unions under the ULC were already existing unions and not new.
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