Leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress have been accused of compromising on their mandate.
The claim was made by Prof Moyosore Ajao, Chairman, University of Ilorin (UITH) branch of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday.
Ajao spoke while giving reasons why ASUU will not allow the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to negotiate on its behalf in trade disputes.
Chairman, University of Ilorin (UITH) branch of ASUU Prof Moyosore Ajao said this in Ilorin, Kwara state capital at the national executive council (NEC) meeting of the Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP).The theme of the lecture is “Results-oriented unionism in a democratic setting.”
Prof Ajao said that ASUU has no apology for any union leaders who wine and dine with the government.
“We have peculiarities of our profession that the NLC might not fully understand and you cannot negotiate if you don’t know the peculiarities and the challenges of such association.
“Second, we are not happy with the leadership of the NLC in some of the way and manner they have coordinated the affair of the union.
“So, ASUU on its own has its leadership but we’re an affiliate of the NLC.
“We have never withdrawn our affiliate. We have our own leadership that deals with our own responsibilities.
“Every time we meet with the government for negotiation, NLC is always represented. But they can only come in as watching brief. I cannot come and negotiate your marriage and children with you when I am not part of the marriage, but I can come as a moderator to ensure things are done normally.
“NLC cannot take the responsibility of the leadership of the ASUU to say they want to negotiate for it.
“ASUU can no longer trust leaders of the NLC who have sold out. Some of them are even richer than some governors. So, I have no apology for those who wine and dine with the government and share a national cake with political leaders. ASUU has no apology for that”, he said.
Prof Ajao argued that ASUU does not fight every successive government in the country; rather “we only challenge every government not to destroy an educational system of the nation.”
The ASUU chaired urged trade union leaders in the country to be guided by principles and ideas while demanding their rights from their employers.
He said that members of unions should also desist from placing a high premium on monetary gains as against collective interest.
Earlier, the National President of the NUAHP, Dr. Obinna Ogbonna, represented by the deputy national president (South), Comrade Victor Olusegun, said that members of the union faced greater risks of exposure, especially frontline and other essential service workers due to the outbreak of the novel COVID-19.
“This has resulted to some infected cases and fatalities among health workers in the country”, he said.
Dr Ogbonna called on governments at all levels to be more concerned about the welfare of the workers.