The Nigeria Labour Congress and the United Labour Congress have resolved their five-year-old dispute to confront economic, social and political challenges facing Nigerian workers.
Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, said this during a reconciliation meeting between the NLC and the ULC on Thursday in Abuja.
According to Wabba: “The leaderships of the NLC and the ULC wish to announce to the world that the strain within the ranks of Organised Labour in Nigeria has been resolved.
“The Nigeria Labour Congress led by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has fully reconciled with the United Labour Congress led by Comrade Joe Ajaero.
“Nigerians would recall that after the conduct of leadership election in the Nigeria Labour Congress at the 10th National Delegates Conference in 2015, some misunderstanding arose between some affiliates of Congress.
“Efforts by Labour veterans such as the pioneer President of the NLC, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, and the former President of the NLC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to resolve the issues, but were inconclusive and we must appreciate their commitment in this direction.”
Wabba added that committed to the bond of brotherhood and solidarity, which the labour movement all over the world is known for, the leaderships of the NLC and the ULC kept aglow the light of peaceful relations towards resolving their misunderstanding.
Wabba therefore said the two leadership have resorted to direct discussions aimed at ending the rift.
He noted that the outcome of the quiet but sustained effort at making the peace was the fruit of the reconciliation that they were celebrating.
He said: “It is to the credit of the leadership of the NLC and the ULC that the bond of solidarity was never broken even at the height of misunderstanding.
“The NLC and ULC always cooperated and collaborated in defending Nigerian workers.
“This was the experience during negotiations for the new National Minimum Wage.
“It is remarkable that in the dark furnace that severely tested our commitment and selfless disposition to our movement’s age long tradition of ‘Nigerian workers first’, we have managed to come out as gold, better and brighter.
“This is the story that overshadows the fleeting pains of the mosquito bites of our misunderstanding in the night.”
He however said with the reconciliation, the leaderships and structures of the ULC have been reintegrated into the NLC.
Wabba added that in the reconciliation Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two leadership, the modus operandi for this re-integration and ancillary issues are spelt out to the satisfaction of both parties.
He said: “We commend the leadership of our affiliate unions, state councils and our statutory organs up to the National Delegates Conference whose mandate and support provided the ladder to this milestone reconciliation.
“We thank our rank and file and the social partners for their counsel, altruism and support during the dark hour.”
He said the Congress had gained more affiliate unions to the movement, more experience and built more bridges.
“Going forward from this platform of unity, we are ready now more than ever before to confront and overcome the myriad of challenges facing Nigerian workers – economic, social, and political. United We Stand in Solidarity,” he said.
Ajaero, while responding, said they are happy to be back home.
He said: “We are happy to be back to our own house and we pledge to make it stronger.
“We are here now, and the next few days will definitely show that we have retuned home.
“We are back to confront issues challenging the Nigerian workers.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that following the reconciliation meeting, Ajaero became the Deputy National President of the NLC.