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 NLC, protesting workers ground activities at NIPOST

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eddyvic
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PostSubject: NLC, protesting workers ground activities at NIPOST   2015-05-21, 05:26

The leadership of the Nigeria
Labour Congress and the National
Union of Post and
Telecommunication Employees on
Wednesday shut down the
operations of the Nigerian Postal
Services in Abuja.
Hundreds of aggrieved members of
NUPTE and officials of the NLC, led
by the Congress’ President, Mr.
Ayuba Wabba, stormed the
headquarters of NIPOST to protest
an alleged decision of the
management (of NIPOST) to compel
Level 07 members of staff,
numbering over 4,000, to join the
Senior Staff Association of
Communications, Transport and
Corporations, contrary to their wish.
Addressing the protesting workers,
Wabba said that the NIPOST
management wrote the Accountant
General’s Office to send check-off
dues deducted from Level 07
officials of the organisation who
have been in NUPTE for over 30
years to the SSACTAC.
He said the NIPOST management
violated the rights of workers to
belong to unions of their choice.
The NLC President also denied a
claim by SSACTAC that the matter
was before the court and that a
prevailing court order had been
issued to restrain the NLC from
further action.
“Section 40 of our Constitution says
there is freedom of association.
These workers have been members
of NUPTE for over 30 years.
Overnight, the management
transferred them to SSACTAC. Is that
law? Freedom of association means
workers should decide which union
they want to belong; it is not at the
whim and caprices of the
management.
“The management wrote a letter to
the Office of the Accountant
General, ceding those members to
SSACTAC. They have belonged to
NUPTE for over 30 years. These are
of our grievances.
“ILO Convention says the workers
have a right to the freedom of
association. They belong to a
union; you must seek their consent.
The workers here are protesting
because they have ceded them to
another union so as to undermine
their interest.
“Well, we have not been served. I
have not seen any court injunction.
That is why we are here. We are
respecters of the law. Once we are
served and put on notice, we would
abide by the law. Nobody told us
about any court order.
“Over 4,000 workers were ceded to
another union. They belong to
NUPTE before now. That is the
reason for this picketing.”
NUPTE is one of the 43 affiliate
unions of the NLC.
However, the President of SSACTAC
told journalists that the affected
NUPTE members were members of
SSACTAC who were on loan to NUPTE
to beef up its finances.
He said that the matter was being
resolved within NIPOST. However,
he said he was surprised at the
action of the NLC.
In his comments on the issue, the
President of NUPTE, Sunday
Alhassan, said that the NIPOST
management took an arbitrary
decision to compel the workers to
join another union and went ahead
to pay their check-off dues to that
union.
He said that NUPTE had called on
the NIPOST management to reverse
the decision before the action to
picket the office on Wednesday.
He said that if the decision was not
reversed, NUPTE would be
compelled to shut down NIPOST
operations nationwide.
The NIPOST Postmaster General,
Alhaji Mori Baba, was not available
to address the protesting workers.
The Deputy Postmaster General,
Human Resources, Mr. Chabiri
Ndahi, told the labour leaders and
workers that the Postmaster
General stayed away from the office
during the protest because of
concerns over his personal security.
The workers, who turned up at the
NIPOST headquarters as early as
7am, carried placards which read,
‘Remit our check-off dues to
NUPTE’, ‘NUPTE is my union’, ‘It is
the exclusive right of NIPOST
workers to chose the union they
wish to belong’, ‘Postmaster
General is violating our right to
association’, ‘Anti-labour policies
against NUPTE in NIPOST now’,
among others.
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