There are strong indications that the presidency has not relented in its attempt to break up Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, as a former Registrar of Trade Unions (names withheld) has been recruited to hasten the plot.
President of NLC, Mr. Abdulwaheed Omar, in an interview, claimed that several clandestine meetings had been called by the former registrar with some of the affiliates of NLC that were registered when he was saddled with the responsibility of registering unions.
Omar, however, said most of the invited affiliates told the registrar that they were committed affiliates of NLC.
Omar said: “It is no longer news that government is not happy with what happened in January over the issue of fuel subsidy. So they intend to weaken NLC. The first move visibly made was when a Senator tried to sponsor a bill called ‘Democratisation of Labour Union.’
“The bill was to amend the law that from now on, any union that wants to go on strike must obtain express permission from all the members through the ballot. That means 50 per cent of the entire membership would vote.
“For instance, if NLC has to go on strike, and it has over one million members, over 500,000 has to vote ‘yes’ before the strike is embarked upon.
“We got wind of that and worked with progressive members in the National Assembly to scuttle the bill. And we sensitised Nigerians on the short falls of the bill.
“However, they are still attempting to break NLC by using some of the aggrieved members, who lost during our last election, by telling them that they can form their labour centre.
“I heard they are holding clandestine meetings. We are also aware that a former registrar of trade unions is commissioned to do the job.”