A new labour union has been created to rival the well-known Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
Joe Ajaero was elected as president of the United Labour Congress (ULC) on Saturday by no fewer than 25 industrial unions on Saturday elected.
ULC emerged as a breakaway faction of the NLC after a two-year internal crisis.
Ajaero, General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) was elected unopposed at the ULC maiden Delegates Conference in Lagos.
He said that ULC would fight for the interest of workers and ensure a more equitable Nigeria where workers’ dignity and the work place would become less prone to impunity.
He also added that the emergence of ULC would strengthen the labour movement and generate a new vigour that would re-awaken elements that would make workers strong.
”The new labour centre instead of weakening the movement will present labour as a creative partner that has strategic benefits for its publics, especially the employers and the government,” he said.
Ajaero said that the movement was not contesting with anybody or faction, but would remain a labour centre of its own, adding that “the issue of faction is over.’’
The ULC includes the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), and its president, Igwe Achese, was elected Deputy President.
Three Vice Presidents, Treasurer, Auditor and Financial Secretary among others were also elected to run the affairs of the centre.
Leaders of the new labour union said their first major outing would be against a leading airline in the country on Tuesday for alleged unfair labour practices, including seven months unpaid salaries to workers affiliated to ULC.
The affiliates of ULC include NUPENG, NUEE, Nigeria Union of Mine Workers, National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Employees and the Nigeria Union of Rail Workers.
Others are the National Union of Lottery Agents and Employees, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals and National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers.