By Stanley Onyekwere
There is raging controversy over the purported withdrawal of nine affiliate members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) from the Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC) in FCT Administration and Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
It was gathered that the FCT Council of the NLC had formally divorced its long standing marriage with the Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC) in FCTA and FCDA.
The affected NLC affiliate members are: Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), Nigeria Association of Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Medical and Health Workers Union (MHWUN); and Nigeria Union of Agriculture and Allied Employees (AUAAE).
Others are: Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Services Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPTRE), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigeria Union of Professional Secretaries, Radio and Theater Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU); and Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).
According to a statement attributed to the FCT Chairman of the NLC, Comrade Abubakar Alhassan Yakub, the decision to withdraw the said number of her affiliate members from JUAC, citing ‘improper representation’ of the affiliates in FCTA and FCDA by the present leadership of JUAC.
Yakub also cited incidents of several breaches of labour struggle by the JUAC leadership as reason for withdrawing from the Committee.
He adds: “By this withdrawal, JUAC as a Committee that has always liaised with the Management of FCT Administration has come to an end.
“The implication of the decision is that JUAC which was just a conglomerate of Unions to bring about a kind of marriage of convenience which will allow them to meet with the Management of FCT on labour issues ceases to exist as all affiliate members have been directed to deal directly with their state chapters on issues affecting them.”
The decision, according to the NLC Chairman was properly communicated to the State leadership of Trade Unions Congress which the JUAC Chairman’s Association of Senior Civil Servants is domiciled. Concluded the Chairman.
He however stated that his doors remain open at any time the leadership of JUAC wants to seek audience. However, Comrade Yakub maintained that it was not a personal decision but the collective will of all NLC affiliates in FCT that led to the decision.
Meanwhile, reacting to the development, the JUAC Chairman, Comrade Oluwakorede Matilukore said feigned ignorance of the purported withdrawal of the affiliate members, insisting that they are intact.
He opines that: “You cannot shave someone’s head in absentia neither can you try a person in his absence. No one has informed me about what you are saying.
“JUAC in FCTA is one intact. We will so remain for the good o
f all workers. None of our primary affiliates has issues against me and I don’t have any issue with any.”
He further explained that the primary composition of JUAC is from NLC and TUC, which at the moment he has not received any complaint from any members.