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STOP THE CARNAGE NOW: IN SOLIDARITY WITH WORKERS AND PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE- NLC PROTEST AT ZIMBABWE EMBASSY,DELIVERS A PROTEST LETTER    

 

 

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

President of the Republic of ZIMBABAWE

State House,

Harare, ZIMBABWE

 

 

STOP THE CARNAGE NOW: IN SOLIDARITY WITH WORKERS AND PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE    

I bring to you the warm compliments of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

We write to bring to your esteemed attention very ugly incidents that have trailed the mass protests following the sudden increase in pump prices of petroleum products by the government of Zimbabwe.

Your Excellency, we have it on good authority that many leaders of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and several civilians have been harassed, hounded, tortured, illegally detained and murdered for participating in peaceful protests against what many Zimbabweans perceive as insensitive policy choices by the government of Zimbabwe.

The Nigeria Labour Congress reiterates its firm support for democracy and the rule of law, everywhere and at all times. We are sad that what should have passed on as a civil action in democratic climes was met with disproportionate use of force culminating into widespread suppression and violation of fundamental human rights of Zimbabweans by the military and security forces who were reported to have unleashed an orgy of violence, bloodshed and acts of brigandage and lawlessness.

The NLC is highly concerned about allegations of home raids, killings, rapes, robbery and physical assaults against workers, women, children and civilians generally during the so-called crackdown of protests by the Zimbabwean security forces. The action of these security has led to a number of disappearances, displacements, with attendant physical and psychological injuries to victims, their relatives and colleagues.

There is no doubt that the fundamental human rights and basic dignity of Zimbabweans which are guaranteed by relevant conventions and protocols of the United Nations and the African Union, have been severely trampled upon by the action of members of Zimbabwean security forces.

Your Excellency, we need to also remind you that the action of the Zimbabwean security forces against leaders of the Zimbabwean Trade Union Congress (ZCTU) is in dire violation of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 87 on the right to unionize and organize.

We therefore call on the government of Zimbabwe to immediately stop the ongoing pogrom by calling the security forces to order as we note that what is going on right now in Zimbabwe is out of tune with democratic tenets and certainly not in tandem with your promise of a new Zimbabwe.

We specifically call on the government of Zimbabwe to release, unconditionally, the General Secretary of the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), Japhet Moyo and other trade union leaders arrested in connection with the protests and stop the siege on the homes of labour leaders and activists across the country.

While we encourage your government to deploy dialogue rather than brute force in matters of this nature, we urge your government to ensure adequate treatment, rehabilitation and compensation for the victims of this unwieldy deployment of state force against Zimbabwean citizens

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni

President

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PRESS STATEMENT : STOP THE POGROM IN ZIMBABWE NOW! -NLC

  • Text of a Press Statement Released at the NLC’s Organized Protest to the Zimbabwean High Commission, Abuja on 1st February 2019

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has followed with absolute shock and a sense of outrage the ugly incidents that have trailed the mass protests in Zimbabwe. The protests were occasioned by the sudden increase in pump prices of petroleum products by the government of Zimbabwe.

We have it on good authority that many leaders of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and several civilians have been harassed, hounded, tortured, illegally detained and murdered for participating in peaceful protests against what many Zimbabweans perceive as insensitive policy choices by the government of Zimbabwe.

The Nigerian working class family is sad that what should have passed on as a civil action in democratic climes was met with disproportionate use of force by the Zimbabwean military and security forces. The brazen show of force culminated into widespread suppression and violation of the fundamental human rights of ordinary Zimbabweans who were exposed to an orgy of violence, bloodshed and acts of state cruelty.

The NLC is particularly concerned about allegations of home raids, killings, rapes, robbery and physical assaults against workers, women, children and civilians generally during the so-called crackdown of protests by the Zimbabwean security forces. The action of these security officers has led to a number of disappearances, and displacements, with attendant physical and psychological injuries to victims, their relatives and colleagues.

There is no doubt that the fundamental human rights and basic dignity of Zimbabweans which are guaranteed by relevant conventions and protocols of the United Nations and the African Union, have been severely trampled upon by the action of members of Zimbabwean security forces.

We need to also remind the authorities in Zimbabwe especially the Zimbabwean President, Mr. Emmerson Mnangagwa, that the action of the Zimbabwean security forces against leaders of the Zimbabwean Trade Union Congress (ZCTU) is in dire violation of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 87 on the right to unionize and organize.

The Nigeria Labour Congress reiterates its firm support for democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights cum dignity everywhere and at all times. We, therefore, extend our strong solidarity to the workers and people of Zimbabwe as they express their democratic rights to peaceful assembly and protest.

We stand with you today, 1st February, 2019, and always as we lead Nigerian workers and all lovers of democracy, freedom and civil liberties on a march to the Zimbabwean High Commission, Abuja, in protest against the descent of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to a reign of cold-blooded dictatorship, brutality and tyranny.

We use the opportunity of this protest march to call on the government of Zimbabwe to immediately stop the ongoing pogrom going on in Zimbabwe and call the security forces to order. The evil being perpetrated right now in Zimbabwe is out of tune with democratic tenets and certainly not in tandem with Mr. Mnangagwa’s promise of a new Zimbabwe.

We also specifically call on the government of Zimbabwe to release, unconditionally the General Secretary of the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), Japhet Moyo, and other trade union leaders arrested in connection with the protests. The government should also stop the siege on the homes of labour leaders and activists across the country.

While we call on the Zimbabwean government to deploy dialogue rather than brute force in matters of this nature, we urge the government to ensure adequate treatment, rehabilitation and compensation for the victims of this unwieldy, cruel and barbaric deployment of brute force against Zimbabwean workers, trade union leaders and citizens.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni

President, Nigeria Labour Congress

1st February 2019

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2019 PROTEST RALLY FOR THE ACTUALIZATION OF NEW NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE

THE REPORT OF THE NATIONAL PROTEST RALLIES ON THE ACTUALISATION OF THE NEW NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2019.

At its meeting of Monday, November 19, 2018, the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress in furtherance of consultations held with the leadership  of other members of OrganisedLabour, unanimously adopted a resolution to the effect that if by the 31st of December 2018, Government failed to transmit the executive bill on the new national minimum wage of N30,000 to the National Assembly for its perfection into law, affiliate unions of the Nigeria Labour Congress would join other members of OrganisedLabour and their civil society allies to  embark on protest rallies across the country on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 as a prelude to an indefinite national strike.

In compliance with this resolution of the National Executive Council (NEC)  of the Nigeria  Labour Congress, members of the affiliate unions of the Congress together with other members of OrganisedLabour and their civil society allies massed,  mobilized and held protest  rallies at the 36 state capitals and Abuja expressing their displeasure and demanding immediate transmission of the executive bill to the National Assembly. In each state capital, workers demanded that governors put a stop to further frustration of the  process of realising the new minimum wage  threatening to withhold their vote in the event of any further breach. The workers in great numbers said the payment of the new minimum wage which amounts to no more than N50 per meal for a family of six, is not contingent on surplus resources but dependent on political will, prudence, prioritisation, reduction in cost of governance and minimization of corruption. Workers and pensioners threatened to embark on an indefinite strike action, crippling services in both public and private sectors across the country except their demand is met.

Workers embarked on this action across the country in great numbers and high spirits. Beyond this, they demonstrated resolve and capacity to start and sustain a prolonged national strike action. One other remarkable thing about the protest is that no state governor, either in representative capacity or in direct contact, emphatically said they would not pay the new national minimum wage of N30,000. The logical question therefore remains, who has the Governors’ Forum been speaking for?

The protest rallies from state to state, took a familiar pattern. They were preceded by consultations, mobillisations, solidarity song, reading of Congress President’s message to workers, fiery speeches denouncing the delay of the perfection of the new national minimum wage instrument, march across the streets with music and fanfare and delivery of the demand letter to the Governor or appointed representative in Government  House .  With the exception of Ebonyi, Kaduna, Borno, and  Nasarawa states, which due to the prevailing security situation restricted their movement, workers marched across the length and breath of each state capital and Abuja.

Please find below, a state-by-state account of what transpired accompanied by pictures.

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We Call for the Immediate Release of Daily Trust Staff and Re-Opening of Office- NLC

6th Jan 2019

We Call for Immediate Release of Daily Trust Staff and Re-Opening of Office

We wish to condemn the arrest of the Borno State Editor of Daily plus other staff and closure of the state office by the military.

No explanation is good enough for this extreme action. It is bizarre and represents repression and violation of press freedom.

We are in a democracy and the media constitute one of the strong institutions in our democracy.

The Daily Trust Group represent some of the best traditions in journalism practice. They are neither associated with sensationalism nor some of the darker side of journalism.

The arrest of its personnel and shutdown of its office portend evil and represent a throwback to the dark days of the military.

If the military authorities have issues with the news paper, even if those issues pertain to national security, there are established channels for dealing with them.

Accordingly, we urge the military to order the immediate release of the detained staff and reopening of the newspaper office.

In these frighteningly difficult times, the military need more friends than self-made enemies.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni

President

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2019 NLC NEW YEAR MESSAGE

2019 NLC NEW YEAR MESSAGE

 OUR COMMITMENT TO WORKER ISSUES AND GOOD GOVERNANCE ARE INVIOLABLE

  • Being a text of the Goodwill Message to Nigerians on New Year’s Day, 2019, by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni, President, Nigeria Labour Congress

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) joins all Nigerians and people of goodwill to celebrate 2019 New Year Day. We salute the contribution and sacrifice of our entire workforce, great men and women.

We use this occasion to reach out to all workers, pensioners and other citizens in Nigeria and elsewhere with the message of love, joy, hope and goodwill.

This day is an opportunity for celebration and stock-taking. Pursuant to this, our reflections on the year 2018 are both positive and negative.

Throughout 2018, the NLC was completely invested in the struggle to protect workers interests, promote democratic values, advocate for the rule of law and defend human cum trade union rights. We sustained our fight against anti-labour practices at the work place and insisted on the observance of the rules of decent work and fair wages.

We kicked against the rising incidence of unemployment, especially, youth unemployment and the danger it portends. We canvassed for the preservation of existing jobs and creation of new sustainable ones through alternative policy options with potential for expanding the economy.

Aside from the regular commemoration of May Day, the year was remarkable and memorable for the observance and celebration of Congress’ 40th anniversary. Many of our affiliates were to follow suit.

One of the major activities in the year was the renewed strengthening of our relationship with our civil society allies through regular collaboration and mutual engagement.

Congress remained vigilant and responsive to national issues as they unfolded and frequently made its position known through press statements, comments, communiques, state of the nation comments, etc which relatively influenced policy and legislation.

Congress, for instance, always condemned prevalent violence in some parts of the country and called on government to bring this to an end.

Congress sustained its robust engagement with the National Assembly, especially on issues of concern to Labour or great national importance.

At the international level, the year remains one of the most remarkable through deepened interactions, engagements, programmes and activities, culminating in the election of the President of the Congress to the headship of ITUC Global.

In spite of these relative successes, the year remains one of the most traumatic for workers especially given the failure of government to enact and implement the new national minimum wage of N30, 000. This is in spite of the unimpeachable tripartite process leading to the agreement by the social partners on the new national minimum wage. It is unfortunate that the Federal Government is yet to transmit to the National Assembly an executive bill for the enactment of N30, 000 as the new national minimum wage.

Government’s dilly-dallying on the issue has strained Government -Labour relations with a potential for a major national strike which could just be days away.

Accordingly, we would use this opportunity to appeal to the Government to do the needful by urgently transmitting the bill on the new national minimum wage to the National Assembly.

We also would like to use this same opportunity to urge workers to fully mobilize for a prolonged national strike and enforce their right.

This strike action becomes the inevitable last option for us and we crave the understanding and support of all Nigerians and businesses.

We would want to assure workers that their labour, patience and diligence will not be in vain and that this leadership remains committed to giving all that it takes to ensure that they get just and fair wages due to them in a decent work environment appropriate to their well-being.

This leadership is similarly committed to ensuring there is social protection for workers.

The new year presents great opportunities for workers, pensioners, civil society allies and their friends and families to put their numbers to good use by voting out not on the basis of tribe or religion but purely policy any candidate who cannot serve their interest.

In the year that is ahead of us, the Nigeria Labour Congress remains unequivocally committed to the following national and workers’ goals:

  1. Campaign for Industrialization

 We will work assiduously to promote and advocate for the removal of all barriers to industrialization, growth and productivity. We should be able to build a country where we produce what we consume. We cannot continue to export precious jobs away to other countries through successive poor policy choices of government and expect to change our unfortunate status as the poverty capital of the world.

  1. Campaign Against Selective Enforcement of “No Work… No Pay” Policy of government

 In 2018, government at different levels in Nigeria tried to use the “No Work… No Pay” to hound and victimize workers. This policy actually arises from clear violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement by the same government that seeks to use the policy against workers. The fact is that the obnoxious policy of “No Work… No Pay” is derived from Decree 54 of 1977 which even military regimes that promulgated it refrained from deploying against workers. It is unfortunate that such cruel policy is being used against workers by a democratic government.

There is no place in modern industrial relations for workers to be owed arrears of salaries. A case in hand is the recent shutdown of the government of the United States owing to disagreements between the executive and the legislative arms of government over budget issues. Most workers whose salaries were affected by the budget impasse were asked to proceed on leave until government is able to pay their salaries.

In worker-sensitive climes even our West African neighbours, it is unthinkable that workers would go home in a month without their salaries. We have tolerated this evil culture of prolonged salary indebtedness for a long time and government has taken advantage of our patience to extend the frontiers of this impunity to the policy dump site of “No Work… No Pay”. The Nigeria Labour Congress will continue to resist such unjust, draconian and insensitive policy and insist that workers’ salaries, pension and gratuity must be paid as when due.

In furtherance to this, the Nigeria Labour Congress will intensify the struggle for regular, predictable and appropriate payment of salaries, pension and gratuity. This struggle will continue to be our topmost priority.  In 2018 and the years preceding it, we demonstrated our commitment in this regard with rallies in defaulting states. We also demanded the probe of governors of such states. We went further to call on the federal government to make subsequent release of further bail-out funds or Paris Club refund contingent on clear evidence of judicious use (for payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities) of previous releases. We will continue to insist on accountability.

Furthermore, the NLC will continue to promote worker-education and mobilization through Congress education programmes and other union training programmes. These activities would be religiously held with the objective of positive impact on workers. Therefore, we urge government at all levels to consider workers as assets and partners in development rather than liabilities.

  1. Consolidation of our Democratic Gains by Insisting on Good Governance and Free, Fair, Credible cum Transparent Elections:

 The Nigeria Labour Congress will continue to insist that our elections are clean. Our focus is particularly trained on the 2019 general election. The Nigeria Labour Congress will continue to demand that both the election umpire and political actors play to the rules of the game by shunning violence, election malpractices, vote buying, manipulation of election rules and politics of bitterness.

We will also deepen our campaign for good governance and fight against corruption in the same manner that we sustained the campaign for tax justice and illicit financial flows. We also demand that the recovered loot be invested transparently for the benefit of all Nigerians.

  1. We Say No to the Shedding of Innocent Blood

 Finally, we say no to the wanton killings under any guise in our country. We particularly condemn the recent pogrom in Zamfara State which has become a recurring decimal in that state. The mind-boggling repeat episodes of gruesome killings clearly show total collapse of governance in Zamfara State. It also shows a dearth of social justice and the reign of abject poverty.

We also unequivocally condemn the recent attacks on communities in Borno State by insurgents. This is a serious setback to the fight against terrorism in our dear country. We wish to sympathize with those who suffered losses in human lives and property. We also share in the pains of thousands of our people who were recently displaced by the wave of Boko Haram attacks in Borno State and indeed other parts of Nigeria.

We wish to remind our political leaders that the security and welfare of the people must be the chief priority of any government’s policy and programmes.

We also want to reiterate our resolve to continue to push for the prioritization of the welfare, security and wellbeing of all Nigerians especially workers of all category.

We commend our armed forces for their effort and supreme sacrifice in curtailing the activities of Boko Haram terrorists and other insurgents operating elsewhere in our country.

Finally, we wish to assure Nigerians, particularly workers, that our resolve and commitment to thenoble goals and aspirations of justice, equity, decent wages and accelerated national development remains unshakable and inviolable.

Once again, we wish you all a happy new year.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni

President

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NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS (NLC) PRESIDENT COMRADE AYUBA P. WABBA, mni ELECTED ITUC PRESIDENT

NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS (NLC) PRESIDENT COMRADE AYUBA P. WABBA, mni ELECTED ITUC PRESIDENT

The President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Ayuba Philibus Wabba, mni, has just been elected President of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in Copenhagen, Denmark .

ITUC is the largest trade union federation in the world, It was formed Novemeber 1st, 2006 after the merger of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the World Confederation of Labour in Vienna, Austria.

ITUC represents 207 million workers across the globe with 331 labour centres in 163 countries.

Comrade Wabba is the first African to be elected President of ITUC and this is worth celebrating as it is a great honour to Nigeria and the entire Africa, the election is for a term of 4 years

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TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS (NLC) COMRADE AYUBA WABBA, mni. IN REACTION TO THE COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE GOVERNORS’ FORUM ON 30TH OCTOBER, 2018

Our attention has been drawn to a communique issued by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) after its meeting on 30th October, 2018 claiming that State Governors can only pay N22,500 as the New National Minimum Wage.

First, we wish to state that the Nigeria Governors Forum is not a negotiating body but merely a political organization for the convenience of state governors. The tripartite committee from inception sent letters to each state government to send in their memoranda as their contributions to the new national minimum wage negotiating process. 21 States sent in their memorandum quoting figures.

Second, the demand of organized Labour is not N30,000. Our demand is N66,500. N30,000 is the compromise figure arrived at the end of negotiations by the tripartite partners – Government, Employers and Organized Labour. The new minimum wage was a product of intense negotiations that lasted for almost one year.

The Governors had six representatives on the Tripartite Committee – one state governor represented each of the geo-political zones. The representatives of the state governors were part and parcel of the work of the negotiating committee from beginning to the end. It is important to note that the National Minimum Wage is not an ALLOCATION to workers. It is a product of NEGOTIATION by the tripartite partners. The unilateral pronouncement by governors of N22,500 Minimum Wage is an abuse of every known principle of industrial relations, labour laws, processes and international best practices.

Third, the NGF erroneously stated that the population of salaried workers is 5% of the general population in Nigeria. This 5% represents the nation’s workforce including teachers, health workers, police personnel, military men and women, engineers, drivers and other workers laboring for the development of our country. In Finland with far less population than Nigeria, every classroom is taught by four teachers. That is a country that understands the critical place of human capital to development. Of what benefit are roads, rails and bridges without human beings to run them?

Fourth, we are also very concerned about the huge pressure being brought upon the Organized Private Sector (OPS) to compromise their stand on the N30,000 compromise New National Minimum Wage. This pressure by the enemies of the Nigerian people was what led to the recent statement by NACCIMA that sought to cast aspersion on an already negotiated New National Minimum Wage. We believe that the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), a reputable body that represents organized labour, will present the fact as it is.

We, therefore, condemn unequivocally the communique issued by the Nigeria Governors Forum on October 30, 2018 as an attempt to undermine the authority of Mr. President. This position should be equally condemned by all.

Our demand is that the constitutional, legal and morally right step to take at this point is for the Chairman of the National Minimum Wage Tripartite Negotiating Committee to submit the report of the already concluded National Minimum Wage negotiations to Mr. President for transmission to the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law.

We wish to reiterate our position adopted at our National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of 23rd October, 2018 that any figure below N30,000 will not be accepted by us. We call on our members to continue to mobilize in preparation for the commencement of an indefinite strike on the 6th of November, 2018, if by then necessary steps have not been taken to adopt the recommendations of the Tripartite Committee.

 

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni

President

31st October, 2018

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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF AN EMERGENCY MEETING OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC) OF THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS (NLC) HELD ON TUESDAY 23RD OCTOBER, 2018

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF AN EMERGENCY MEETING OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC) OF THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS (NLC) HELD ON TUESDAY 23RD OCTOBER, 2018 AT THE PASCAL BAFYAU LABOUR HOUSE, CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT, ABUJA

  1. Preamble

The National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) took place on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at Pascal Bafyau Labour House, Abuja. The meeting was attended by member of the National Administrative Council (NAC), Presidents, General Secretaries and Treasurers of the affiliate Industrial unions. The Chairpersons of the 36 State Councils and FCT also attended the meeting.

The NEC-in-session received the report on the conclusion of the sittings of the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Negotiating Committee that took place on October 4 & 5, 2018. NEC took note that the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Negotiating Committee arrived at N30,000 as the figure to be recommended to the Federal Government at the conclusion of its sitting.

The NEC noted with dismay how the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, tried to twist the truth by misinforming the public that the meeting of October 4 and 5, 2018 was inconclusive as the members of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage did not agree on a figure.

  1. The NEC-in-session after extensive deliberations AFFIRMED as follows:
  2. The NEC approved the recommendation presented by the leadership of Organized Labour which viewed the antics of the Minister of Labour and Employment as anti-labour and anti-workers especially with regards to the Minister’s utterances which the NEC deemed as an act of bad faith intended to scuttle the work of the Committee on the new national minimum wage;
  3. The NEC debunked, rejected and condemned the Minister’s claims in the media that negotiations are still ongoing on the issue of a New National Minimum Wage which implementation is already long overdue;
  4. The NEC is disturbed by government’s new offensive against Organized Labour and workers’ rights as contained in a report submitted to the Federal Executive Council by the Minister of Labour and Employment and on which Government has issued a White Paper. The NEC views this latest posture by government as calculated to cow workers into submission as well as stop Labour from protesting against Government’s foot dragging on the new national minimum wage. The NEC noted that Government’s assault on Organized Labour comprises:
  5. i) Emphasis on the “no work, no pay” clause in the Trade Disputes Act;
  6. ii) Fixing of tenure for workers holding union executive positions in contravention of the provisions of ILO Convention 87; and,

iii) Prohibition or exclusion of non-card carrying members of trade unions from leading or being part of negotiation delegations of trade unions reminiscent of the Abacha military era.

  1. The NEC-in-session based on the foregoing RESOLVED as follows:
  2. To organize a national day of mobilization and sensitization rallies for all workers to show their outrage and mourning in the 36 states of the federation and FCT on Tuesday, 30th October, 2018. The day will also be used to educate and sensitize Nigerians on the horrendous plight of workers and pensioners, the insensitivity and duplicity of Government on labour issues, and to protest the proposed obnoxious policies of government against Organized Labour;
  3. To hold joint organ meetings of the Central Working Committees (CWCs) of all the Labour Centres on November 2, 2018 for final preparations for a full engagement with Government on the national minimum wage;
  4. To commence an indefinite national strike and industrial actions from November 6, 2018; except government accepts and commences the process of perfecting the payment of N30,000 as the negotiated and compromise new national minimum wage before that date.
  5. In furtherance of this, NEC-in-session DIRECTED all affiliate unions, state councils, civil society allies, the informal sector and other friends of workers and lovers of democracy to commence immediate mobilization of their members;
  6. The NEC advised Nigerians to start stocking food and other necessities of life as workers will ensure a total shutdown of the country;
  7. The NEC-in-session similarly condemned Government for its design/plan to clamp down on Labour via selective and erroneous invocation of the ‘no work, no pay” clause in the Trade Disputes Act, noting that the right to strike is both a human and trade union right and cannot be abridged as it is what distinguishes a worker from a slave; there is nothing new about this clause as it has been in our statutes for over forty years;
  8. The NEC-in-session advised the government to look at the log in its eyes before picking out the speck in other people’s eyes. The NEC also demanded from government to uphold the principles of the rule of law, fairness, equity and justice by invoking “no pay, no work”;
  9. The NEC, accordingly, resolved that the threat of “no work… no pay” will not deter it from embarking on strike when necessary as it has always complied with legal requirements precedent and will always comply with those requirements. The NEC-in-session urges Nigerian workers to disregard government’s directive on “no work, no pay” because workers are already being impoverished and being owed arrears of salaries;
  10. The NEC observed that government’s designs to influence the tenure of union executives and membership of unions negotiating teams, constitute a direct interference in the internal affairs of the unions in direct contravention of the Articles 3, 4 and 8 of ILO Convention 87 (to which Nigeria is a signatory since 1960) which state inter alia:
  11. “Workers and employers’ organizations shall have the right to draw up their constitutions and rules, to elect their representatives in full freedom, to organize their administration and activities and to formulate their programmes”;
  12. “The public authorities shall refrain from any interference which would restrict the right or impede the lawful exercise thereof”;
  • “Workers and employers’ organizations shall not be liable to be dissolved or suspended by administrative authority”;
  1. “The law of the land shall not be such as to impair, nor shall it be applied as to impair, the guarantees provided for in this Convention ….”;
  2. Accordingly, the NEC-in-session resolved to advise Government to shelve its White Paper or risk being reported to the ILO;
  3. The NEC also resolved not to be bound by the latest White Paper by government against labour as it is an illegality and a throwback to the dark days of fascism which Organized Labour successfully confronted.

In conclusion, this communique serves as formal notice to government that the NLC will commence an indefinite national strike and industrial actions from November 6, 2018; except government accepts and commences the process of perfecting the payment of N30,000 as the negotiated and compromise new national minimum wage on or before that date.

 

 Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni                     Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson

President                                                            General Secretary

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REPORT ON THE PICKETING MTN OFFICES NATION WIDE BY THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS

REPORT ON THE PICKETING MTN OFFICES NATION WIDE BY THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS

REPORT ON THE PICKETING MTN OFFICES NATION WIDE BY THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday 9th July 2018,  decided to picket all MTN offices nationwide because of the unfriendly Labour practice of the company.

DAY1

We all Converged with our affiliate unions at the first Point of Picketing ,which is the MTN headquarters Falomo Lagos, where the Leadership of Congress took time to give  more Insight on why the action must take place.

It said no amount of blackmail would deter us from Commencing with the action as MTN were already Making False alarm against the Picketing action, instead of addressing the real issues.

The picketing was led by the Congress President  Comrade Ayuba Wabba, Mni and Members of the National Administrative Council of NLC. The Congress made it known to unions at the picketing in Lagos that,all its efforts and other measures brokered by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association(NECA) to address the issues of unfriendly Labour practices by MTN all failed as the company fail to return to the negotiating table.

It said even though the company makes 60 percent of its profit from Nigeria, it was only in Nigeria that MTN workers were not unionised and were subjected to casualisation in total violation of the Labour laws in the country and the ILO conventions.

DAY 2

Tuesday, July 10, marks the second day of the picketing of MTN offices nationwide by the Nigeria Labour Congress and its civil society allies. This action is intended to draw the attention of the public to the inhumane treatment of Workers by MTN.The picketing train then moved to one of the biggest branch of  MTN in Ikoyi still on the Lagos axis

Where Congress Revealed that “MTN Nigeria, since it commenced operations in Nigeria and in clear violation of extant national and international labour laws, especially ILO Conventions 87 and 98 has denied its workers the fundamental principles of the rights at work.

“It similarly indulges in other anti-labour practices such as casualisation for nearly all types of work, fixed- term contract work for Nigerian workers, worst forms of precarious work, etc.

“It is on record that the Nigeria Labour Congress, on several occasions protested to the MTN and government about these unwholesome practices.

The World Decent Work Day marked on October 7th 2017 last year marked a watershed in these protests as NLC briefly picketed their Maitama office in Abuja.

“In response to this action of NLC, MTN reached out to NECA (Nigerian Employers Consultative Association) which brokered a meeting. However, due to inexplicable reasons, MTN opted out of the negotiations to the chagrin and embarrassment of NECA.

“Thereafter every effort by NECA and NLC to get MTN to the negotiating table failed. Frustrated, NECA pulled out of the negotiations. Subsequent efforts by NLC yielded no response either. Left with no other choice, NLC served MTN notice of a picket in line with the provisions of the law.

“And in prosecuting this picket, our members were peaceful and orderly.
We did not destroy any property of MTN and we had no intention to do so, as those were not our objective anyway. There were no doubt that we were clear about our objectives and we did not allow anything to distract us. We are responsible workers and we were alive to our duties and responsibilities.

“Even when MTN sponsored members of a private security company (with which it works) to attack and injure some of our members, we resisted the option of a proportionate response.

“The Falomo police have in their custody one of the attackers and an ID card of one of the assailants.

“MTN therefore, instead of resorting to cheap blackmail and propaganda should do the needful, give to Nigerian workers in their employment, their rights to freely associate, and hold an opinion as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution, the Labour Laws and Conventions 87 and 98 of the ILO.

“It is equally important to explain that Nigeria is the only country MTN refuses to allow workers to unionise. In South Africa where the company comes from, workers are unionised. Indeed, our counterparts in South Africa are worried that we have allowed this matter to linger for so long as MTN may choose to try to impose similar conditions on them.

 

DAY 3

The Third day was the last day of the picketing and roads led to the Apapa branch of the MTN where the Leadership of Congress also emphasized that “In Ghana, workers are unionised as in every other country MTN carries on business. It is important to point out that MTN makes over 60 per cent of its global money in Nigeria. Why then must it be so disdainful of our laws and people.

“However, its acts of impunity are not entirely new. Nigerians may recall it was the same MTN in clear breach of national security that imperiled the lives of our security personnel in the Northeast over which it was fined.

“We insist that companies, no matter how rich or powerful must obey the laws of the land. We insist they must treat Nigerians fairly and decently. No one should be above the law. Let all Nigerians know we are committed to this operation. We have the will and the means to sustain it.

we commend the Nigeria Police so far for their exemplary conduct. We single out for special commendation the police in and around Falomo, Lagos.”

The directives also was duely adheared to at all state chapters of the NLC Nation wide.

Below are picture report of various state chapters during the picketing exercise

 

PICTURE REPORTS

NLC Kano state

Oyo State

Enugu State

Bayelsa State

Kogi state

Akwa Ibom State

Plateau State

Kwara State

Kaduna State