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RTEAN ban: TUC writes IG, DSS over Lagos protest

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria has issued a resolute stance, declaring its intent to disrupt economic activities within Lagos State. This action is in protest of the ban placed on its affiliate union, the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, by the state government. The TUC has further directed its members to organize a one-day protest on Monday, preparing for a service withdrawal.

Festus Osifo, the National President of the TUC, conveyed this during a press conference held in Abuja. He emphasized that all affiliate unions of TUC, including the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, and the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institutions, among others, are expected to participate in this collective action.

Osifo underscored the TUC’s exhaustive efforts to achieve an amicable resolution, which involved written correspondence and meetings with the Lagos State government. Additionally, the RTEAN sought legal redress and received a favorable judgment from the National Industrial Court, which affirmed that the state government lacked the authority to proscribe a trade union legally registered by the Federal Government.

Despite these measures, the state government continued to obstruct the union’s operations. Therefore, the TUC has resolved to utilize the powers of trade unionism to protest against the ban imposed on its affiliate union.

Furthermore, the labor leader called upon the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the entity responsible for registering and deregistering trade unions, to intervene and caution the Lagos State government. He reiterated that the TUC had previously warned, on September 4, that if the Lagos State government failed to cooperate within two weeks, a protest would ensue. In the event that the issue remains unresolved after the protest, a complete shutdown of Lagos State is envisioned. The TUC deems the actions of the state government, which go against the principles of a legally registered trade union, as unacceptable.

To ensure the success of the protest scheduled for Monday, the TUC has communicated with the Director-General of the Department of State Services, the Inspector-General of Police, and the National Security Adviser. The purpose of this communication is to request adequate security measures for the protest, and the TUC has also advised all its affiliated unions to converge on Lagos next week.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has confirmed the release of four leaders of the Nigeria Union Road Transport Workers who were in police custody. NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, announced their release, stating that they were set free on Thursday night after spending over a month in custody. The released officials include the National President, Tajudeen Baruwa, General Secretary, Anthony Chukudi, Olayi Odion, National Trustee, and Principal Assistant Secretary, Abdulrasak Yemi.

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