The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has announced that the organization will introduce a detention allowance for its members who are arrested during protests. This decision aims to demonstrate solidarity and support for fellow workers who are enslaved and mistreated by their employers.
The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, made this announcement during a picketing exercise at the building site of Shaanxi Construction Company at the ECOWAS Headquarters in Abuja. The picketing was organized by the NLC to protest against alleged unfair labor practices and the dehumanization of workers by the Chinese construction company.
Ajaero highlighted that the detention allowance would be provided to workers who are arrested by security personnel while peacefully protesting in support of their maltreated colleagues. He emphasized the importance of unity and solidarity among union members and urged all unions to implement the detention allowance to support detained workers.
The NLC President also cautioned employers to prioritize the welfare of their staff or face mass action from the union. He strongly condemned the use of force and intimidation against workers, emphasizing that such actions would be strongly resisted.
Yakubu Dudu, the Head of the ECOWAS Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, addressed the protesting workers and assured them that the interests of Nigerian workers would be protected.
In a positive development, Emma Ugboaja, the NLC General Secretary, announced that the Chinese construction company had agreed to the demands put forward by the unions regarding the safety of workers at the construction site. Compensation for the widow of a deceased worker was also included in the agreement. A committee comprising various stakeholders has been established to further discuss the specific details of the agreement and the allowances to be paid.
Ugboaja further confirmed that the challenge at hand had been resolved, and all workers would formally resume their duties. The unions involved in the protest have been recognized, and the agreed-upon conditions of service for workers in the construction industry will be implemented.
It should be noted that the workers who were arrested during the protest have been released.