The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) declared its intention to disrupt economic activities in Lagos State as part of its protest against the ban on the operations of its affiliate union, the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, imposed by the state government. The TUC also instructed its members to prepare for a one-day protest on Monday in anticipation of a service withdrawal.
Festus Osifo, the National President of TUC, revealed these plans during a press briefing in Abuja. He emphasized that all affiliate unions of TUC, including the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, among others, are expected to participate in the protest.
Osifo explained that TUC had already utilized various means of engagement to seek a peaceful resolution, such as writing letters and holding meetings with the Lagos State government.
He pointed out that the RTEAN (Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria) had also obtained a judgment from the National Industrial Court, which stated that the state government lacked the authority to proscribe a legally registered trade union sanctioned by the Federal Government.
Despite these efforts, the state government continued to prevent the union from operating. Therefore, TUC intends to use its trade union powers to demonstrate against the ban on its affiliate union. Additionally, Osifo called on the Ministry of Labour and Employment, which has the authority to register and deregister trade unions, to intervene and caution the Lagos State government.
He stated, “It is against this backdrop that we said on September 4 that within two weeks, if the Lagos State government remains adamant in resolving the issue, we are going to carry out a protest and after the protest and there is no resolution in sight, there is going to be a total shutdown of Lagos State, because what the state government is doing against a legally registered trade union is not acceptable to us.”
To ensure a successful protest in Lagos on Monday, TUC has informed relevant authorities, including the Department of State Services, the Inspector-General of Police, and the National Security Adviser, requesting adequate security. The organization has also directed its affiliates to gather in Lagos next week.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) confirmed the release of four leaders of the Nigeria Union Road Transport Workers (NURTW) by the police. These officials, including the National President, Tajudeen Baruwa, and others, had been held in custody for over a month and were released on Thursday night.