The United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC) has condemned the use of thugs or any form of violence as a tool of engagement by social partners in the nation’s industrial relations space.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National President of ULC, Comrade Joe Ajaero.
“ULC condemns in very strong terms the use of thugs or in fact any form of violence as a tool of engagement by social partners in the national industrial relations space. We, therefore, believe that the deployment of thugs to unleash mayhem on the protesting workers no matter the provocation is despicable and repugnant.”
“The Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) led by Comrade Ayuba Wabba in conjunction with the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) led by its President; comrade Williams Akporeha also the Deputy President of the ULC who were on a peaceful protest to demonstrate their displeasure at the brazen display of impunity and highhandedness by the Honourable Minister of Labour in refusing to inaugurate the Board of the NSITF under the chairmanship of Comrade Ovie Kokori as directed by the Presidency were attacked by thugs.”
He explained, “Many of the workers and Journalists who accompanied them were subjected to unimaginable brutality thus sustaining severe injuries and damages to their equipment including losses of various sums of monies and personal properties in the melee. It was reported that blood flowed freely as these purveyors of mayhem freely used all manners of dangerous on Nigerian workers who the Minister is supposed to protect.”
“However, we urge the Minister to demonstrate more patience in dealing with worker’s and to show a greater understanding of the laws that govern industrial relations in Nigeria. The use of certain language may not be sensitive thus inimical to relationship in the space.”
“The Minister has denied sending the thugs but we know from hindsight that if he did not send them directly, those who are under his control may have done it. In either case, the Minister may be unfortunately complicit.”
“We recall that the Honourable Minister last week accused the NLC of using thugs to invade his office and now it is the same accusation going the other way. What we now have is a prevalence of the use of thugs and violence within the IR space which is very sad.”
“ULC calls on the government to quickly call a roundtable of all major stakeholders within the nation IR space for the purposes of seeking rapprochement with workers and their unions that have been brutalised.”

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