The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, has said the congress would do all things to preserve the unity of the Labour movement in the country.
He also said the NLC was sticking to a proposal of N56,000 minimum wage it made to the Federal Government.
Wabba made the comment while reacting to the formation of a new Labour centre known as the United Labour Congress by some top Labour leaders in Lagos on Saturday.
Those behind the formation of the new centre unanimously elected the General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees, Mr. Joe Ajaero and the President of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Achese Igwe as President and Deputy President respectively.
Listed among the breakaway affiliates of the NLC and the Trade Union Congress are NUPENG, NUEE, Nigeria Union of Mine Workers, National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Employees, Nigeria Union of Rail Workers, National Union of Lottery Agents and Employees, Association of Nigeria Aviation, Professionals, National Association Aircraft Pilots and Engineers and others.
But Wabba said that the congress had made serious efforts to ensure reconciliation with aggrieved Labour leaders after the division in the congress caused by the outcome of the 2015 Delegates Congress of the NLC, especially the intervention of veteran Labour leaders led by the Pioneer President of the Congress, Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu.
He noted that the Labour leaders announced as President and Deputy President of the newly formed UCL, Ajaero and Igwe, had earlier declared themselves as President and Deputy President of the NLC after the election which he insisted was adjudged to be free and fair by various groups.
He attributed the formation of the new Labour centre to the desperation of the affected Labour leaders to occupy certain positions at all cost.
Let me assure you that we will do everything to preserve the unity of the Labour movement not only with them also with our colleagues at the Trade Union Congress.
“Essentially, you are aware that we have done everything possible to ensure that the issue of reconciliation after the 2015 conference ate actually addressed, and you are also aware that our veterans gave out it their best, especially the founding President Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu.
“But it is most unfortunate when people try to occupy positions at all cost. You are also aware that at a time they declared themselves president and deputy president, especially Joe Ajaero and Achese Igwe.”
Wabba argued that there was a process for the registration of Labour centres which had not been followed by those involved in the formation of the new Labour centres.
Wabba also restated the position of the NLC that it would not guarantee Industrial peace in the country if the government failed to constitute the tripartite committee to determine a new Minimum Wage in the country before May 1, 2017.
He stressed that the NLC had made a proposal of N56,000 Minimum Wage to the Federal Government and was still sticking to the demand.