What does the Nigeria Labour Congress Even Do?

July 27, 2022

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is hot right now due to a solidarity protest with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The union is more well-known for protests and strikes, but there’s more to it than that.

What does the Nigeria Labour Congress Even Do?

First, a brief history of the NLC

The NLC was first created in December 1978 as a vehicle to protect the rights of workers and pensioners. 

The union was a merger of four separate trade unions: the Nigeria Trade Union Congress (NTUC), Labour Unity Front (LUF), United Labour Congress (ULC) and Nigeria Workers’ Council (NWC). 

The idea for the merger was to create one giant representative organisation with strong trade influence rather than four with limited, scattered power. It’s like the Avengers of unions.

“Unions… assemble!”

The military governments of General Ibrahim Babangida and General Sani Abacha dissolved the NLC in 1988 and 1994, respectively, for having coconut head, but the union always came back from the dead.

What does the Nigeria Labour Congress Even Do?

Today, the NLC has more than 40 affiliated unions with over four million members nationwide.

Okay, but what does the NLC do?

Here are the key issues that validate the existence of the NLC:

Job protection

What does the Nigeria Labour Congress Even Do?

It goes without saying that the protection of jobs for Nigerian workers is a main pillar of the NLC’s existence. The union is committed to this cause to the point of backing workers sacked for incompetence.

Safety at work

If you leave it up to Nigerian employers, they’d cut every possible corner to protect the business and tell employees to go to hell. The NLC is there to fill the gap of advocacy for the people that make a business tick. It’s the union’s mandate to ensure that employees work in a safe and efficient environment.

Industrial relations

If the NLC were a quote, it’d be “If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together”. 

What does the Nigeria Labour Congress Even Do?

“…and as fashionably as possible”

The more people in the union that can do collective bargaining, the better for everyone’s interests. This is why the union promotes positive industrial relations in Nigeria.

Education

The NLC also seeks to always promote the education of workers to develop their social consciousness.

Legislative representation

One of the NLC’s most potent weapons is influencing government policies at all levels to serve the interests of Nigerian workers.

Gender equality

It’s also the mandate of the NLC to fight for affirmative action to improve the participation of women in the labour force, even if its own national administrative council membership doesn’t always reflect that gender balance.

What does the Nigeria Labour Congress Even Do?

Charity begins at home

If you ever see the NLC striking, protesting or making noise in the news like it’s currently doing, it’s usually for any combination of these reasons.

ALSO READ: Why the Nigeria Labour Congress Is Protesting

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