THE Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has rescinded the recent decision of the Ministry annulling the election of new national officers of the Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU) at its quadrennial delegates’ conference held recently in Gusau, Zamfara State, National Record can authoritatively report.
Dr Ngige in a letter with reference number ML.HMO/LAB/126/IV/237, dated Thursday August 26, 2021 (today) addressed to the General Secretary of RATTAWU said he rescinded his earlier decision voiding the delegates conference of the union held on July 16, 2021 at Gusau, Zamfara State, as conveyed an August 12, 2021 letter following concerns from the union earlier this week.
The letter, which was signed on behalf of the Minister by C. C. Dike (Mrs), Special Adviser (Technical) to the Honourable Minister, and entitled: “RE: SOS: In the Matter of RATTAWU National Delegates Conference and a Letter by the Director, Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations (TUSIR) Department,” noted that though “the matter in dispute has now been apprehended by the Honourable Minister to ensure equity and social justice,” an investigation would be launched by the Minister “to ascertain the causes and circumstances of the matter in dispute in the administration” of RATTAWU.
The letter which did not state the manner in which the investigation would be carried out or the names of those to undertake the investigation, enjoined all parties to cease hostilities “to enable a speedy conclusion of the investigation and conciliation.”
The letter reads: “I am directed to refer to your letter No. RATT/NHOMLE/Vol.2/4 dated August 24, 2021, on the above stated subject and to inform you that the concerns raised in the letter under reference have been noted by the Honourable Minister. I am therefore to inform you that the matter in dispute has now been apprehended by the Honourable Minister to ensure equity and social justice.
“I am further directed to inform you that an investigation would be immediately carried out by the Honourable Minister to ascertain the causes and circumstances of the matter in dispute in the administration of the Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU).
“Meanwhile, the Officers elected during the National Delegates Conference (NDC) held at Gusau, Zamfara State on July 16, 2021, should continue to perform the functions of their respective Offices while the investigations are concluded. Accordingly, the letter with reference no. MLIB/26/T/IB2 dated August 12, 2021, written by Mrs O. U. Akpan, Director, TUSIR nullifying/voiding the election is ultra vires is overtaken by the current directives of the Honourable Minister.
“I am further directed to enjoin all parties to cease hostilities in RATTAWU to enable a speedy conclusion of the investigation and conciliation.
“Please be assured of the warm regards of the Honourable Minister.”
Union yet to see the letter
When contacted this evening for his reaction on the new position of the minister, the General Secretary of the Union, Comrade Akpauso Akpa, said he was yet to see the letter.
He said he is not in a position to make any comment until he receives the letter, adding that he may have left the office before the letter was delivered or that it was still on transit.
It will be recalled that on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, National Record reported that the Ministry of Labour and Employment voided the union’s July 16, 2021 delegates’ conference because the national officers of RATTAWU failed to follow the constitutional process in the election of officers just as they allegedly disregarded the Ministry’s directive which led to the absence of the Registrar of Trade Unions from monitoring the conference.
Comrade Akpa had told our reporter that while the leadership of the union had received the letter voiding the conference; it (leadership) was however in a conversation with the Minister towards resolving the matter, which he said due to a mix up.
Letter from Ministry of Labour Restoring Elected Leaders of RATTAWU