TUC To Embark On Strike In Lagos Over RTEAN Ban

By Damilare Adeleye

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has threatened to shut down activities in Lagos State as to protest against the ban on the operations of its affiliate union, the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).

It could recalled that the Lagos State Government had suspended the activities of RTEAN in the state, which led to the taking over its motor parks and offices.

Speaking during a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, TUC National President, Festus Osifo, said the union will begin with a mass protest in the state on Monday in preparation for withdrawal of service.

He said all affiliate unions of TUC, including the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, among others, are expected to join the action.

He said the TUC had employed all the necessary tools of engagement for amicable resolution, including writing letters and holding meetings with the Lagos State government on the issue.

The TUC boss said the RTEAN, also went to court and got a judgment from the National Industrial Court, which said the state government had no powers to proscribe a trade union legally registered by the Federal Government.

Osifo added that the state government refused to allow the union to operate, saying that TUC would utilise trade unionism powers to protest the ban on its affiliate union.

The labour leader also called on the Ministry of Labour and Employment, which has the power to register and deregister trade unions, to caution the Lagos State government.

Osifo added that the union had informed the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), the Inspector-General of Police, and the National Security Adviser about the protest.

He added, “It is against this backdrop that we said on September 4 that within two weeks, if the Lagos State government remains adamant in resolving the issue, we are going to carry out a protest, and after the protest and there is no resolution in sight, there is going to be a total shutdown of Lagos State because what the state government is doing against a legally registered trade union is not acceptable to us.

“In order for us to carry out a successful protest in Lagos on Monday, we informed the Director-General of the Department of State Services, the Inspector-General of Police, and the National Security Adviser. The reason is that we want them to provide us with adequate security, and we have informed all our affiliates to proceed to Lagos next week.”