The crisis rocking the Trade Union Congress (TUC), one of Nigeria’s two labour centres, is seen deepening, as 10 affiliate unions, under the aegis of “Concerned Affiliates of TUC,” on Wednesday, called on relevant authorities, including federal and state governments not to recognise the Festus Osifo led TUC until pending issues in court are resolved.
Osifo, who doubles as president of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), was elected president of the TUC during a delegates conference held on July 19, 2022, in Abuja, amid an unresolved legal tussle.
About 10 unions, including the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), had approached and requested the National Industrial Court (NIC) to determine whether a resolution reached during the 11th triennial national delegates conference in 2019 that ASSIBIFI should produce the president of the congress from 2022 to 2025, was not binding on the leadership of the TUC.
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“We of the above-mentioned group of affiliates of TUC have considered it absolutely necessary to draw the attention of the public, especially the federal and state governments, and all employers of labour in Nigeria that the purported National Delegates Conference of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, is a nullity and therefore, the products of that conference should not by any means be recognised as the leadership of TUC as the so-called delegates conference contradicted all forms, rules and laws guiding TUC delegates conferences, Emmanuel Jaja, chairman of the Concerned Affiliates of TUC, said at a news conference in Lagos on Wednesday.
Jaja, who is also the deputy president of Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN), further said, “We have also directed our lawyers to ensure that they do the needful as regards the violation of the court orders to serve as a deterrent to others who may want to defile court orders in future.”
Efforts to get a response from Osifo, the TUC president on the matter did not produce any result, as a text message to his GSM phone was not responded to.