THE factional President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero and his team have jettisoned the labour and inaugurated a new one called United Labour Congress (ULC).
Ajaero’s faction including the National President of Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), Comrade Achese Igwe, rejected the election results that led to the emergence of Comrade Ayuba Wabba as the president of NLC at a delegates conference in Abuja two years ago.
In his inaugural/acceptance speech, Comrade Ajaero stated that his faction had waited patiently for two years hoping the founding fathers of labour movement in Nigeria would be able to reconcile both parties, adding that: “unfortunately, there is no sincerity of purpose in the other party to reconcile our differences.
“However, we have gathered here today to celebrate a new labour movement.
According to Ajaero, “the issue of faction is over. We are doing this because of the exigency of the moment. People work without salary amongst other issues.”
The affiliates that formed ULC include: National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Nigeria Union of Electricity Employee (NUEE), Nigeria Union of Mine Workers, National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institution Employee (NUBIFIE), Nigeria Union of Road Workers (NURTW), National Union of Lottery Agents and Employees (NULAE), among others.
Comrade Ajaero stressed that the new labour movement satisfied the minimum of 12 trade unions that are allowed by law to form a national body. He stated that 18 union affiliates came together to form the body.
Addressing the members of the new union, Comrade Ajaero promised to work with other trade unions that are ready to fight for the interest of workers in line with the constitution of Nigeria.
“We are calling on the National Assembly to review all policies that are not beneficial to the workers. When people are idle, it heralds different social vices. We promise to serve the people,” he added.
In his comment, the Deputy President of ULC, Comrade Igwe Achese said, “we have waited for one and half years and I see that it is only truth that can set us free. It is sad that workers are being owned salaries. You ask, where is Labour with the issues going on in the country and I said we have a responsibility.
“We are here to celebrate the beginning of hope. How long are we going to wait and what is our responsibility as labour leaders.”