FG bows to pressure, meets ULC leadership
Federal Government has bowed to pressure as it held formal meeting with the leadership of various Trade Unions affiliated to United Labour Congress (ULC).
The conciliatory meeting chaired by Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment which started at about 4:13pm at the Conference Room of the Minister of Labour and Employment, ended at 8:13pm.
Igwe Achese, ULC Deputy President who led the delegation comprising of National Presidents of over 10 Unions who dressed in aprons with ULC inscriptions.
The parties unanimously agreed to hold a joint press briefing by 9am tomorrow, Wednesday, 20th September, 2017 at the Minister’s conference room, to formally make public the understanding reached by both parties parties.
BusinessDay gathered that the meeting held with the Minister as arbitrator of labour dispute was a follow-up to the ear!ier meeting held with the Director of Department of State Security Service on Monday, 18th September, 2017 and early hours of Tuesday (today).
Some of the ULC chieftains who attended the meeting expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the negotiation aimed at ending the nationwide strike.
While assuring not to trade words with the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), they maintained that the private sector remains critical in the Nigerian economy.
“You know the role played by the private sector during various challenging periods of this country including the June 12 clamour and pro-democracy campaign. For us, we need not join issues with any of them, they need us, but we don’t need them,” one of the labour leaders said at the sideline of the meeting.
Present at the meeting are: Otori Malik Saliu, ULC Auditor and National President of Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigerian (ISSSAN); Joseph Ogbebor, NUPENG General Secretary; Williams Akporeha; Chairman, ULC chapter, Delta State and Didi Adodo, ULC General Secretary.
A source privy to negotiation told BusinessDay that the kernel of the issues discussed at the meeting bothered on the legality of ULC registration, adding that any extant Act of Parliament that contravenes the provisions of the 1999 Constitution is null and void.
According to them, all antics being played to blackmail ULC leaders and other affiliates have been burgled.
When asked whether the meeting was deadlock, Achese who affirmed that the parties would meet tomorrow, simply stated that “we are making progress on all fronts.”
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja
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