The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has condemned Abia State Government’s interference with the leadership structure of the State Council of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
The NLC President, Mr Joe Ajaero, made the condemnation in a letter addressed to Gov. Alex Otti, on Sunday in Abuja.
Ajaero said the Congress was alarmed at a letter written to the NURTW, it’s affiliate on June 20, by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Kenneth Kalu.
He noted that in the said letter, the NURTW President was advised by the Secretary to the State Government to consider some persons for various positions in the state council.
The NLC president claimed that those the government listed for positions included Mr Chukwuma Anazodo as Chairman, Mr Chika Arthur as Deputy Chairman, Mr. Tochi Ephraim. Treasurer and Mr Azubuike Victor as Financial Secretary.
Ajaero further listed others as; Anyanwu Ogaraku as organising secretary, Ogbuagu Ukadike, member, Eze Okwulehie, trustee, Alozia Onuoha, member, Nwankudu Onyedikachi, member and Chimauche Okorie as member.
“Our first reaction to the letter when it was reported to us by the union was that it was a phony.
“We could not imagine that a government, elected under the banner of Labour Party, could have written such a letter,” he said.
Ajaero said Article 3 of Convention 87 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) states that (3.1) Workers’ and employers’ organisations shall have the right to draw up their constitutions and rules.
He said the article also stated that they were to elect their representatives in full freedom, to organise their administration and activities and to formulate their programmes.
The NLC president said it also stated that the public authorities shall refrain from any interference which would restrict this right or impede the lawful exercise thereof.
“It is therefore important to point out to Your Excellency (Otiti) that ILO Convention 87 is a fundamental convention which is globally considered sacred and inviolable.
He added that the letter by the Abia State Government in proposing to take over the leadership of the Abia State Council of the NURTW is rash, ill informed and illegal.
“We demand that the government should denounce and immediately withdraw the SSG’s letter.
“A guarantee by the Abia State Government to refrain from interfering in the activities of trade unions in the state is also imperative.
“We urge the use of social dialogue to address any grievance the state government may have against the current leadership of the NURTW in Abia State.
“We look forward to your immediate response, please accept the renewed assurances of our highest esteem,” Ajaero said. (NAN)