NLC pays arrested members detention allowance


The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, has directed the immediate payment of “detention allowance” to union members arrested during peaceful protests organised by labour.

Ajaero gave the directive on Thursday after the arrest of three workers during a protest at the construction site of the new headquarters of the Economic Community of West African States located at Lugbe in Abuja on Wednesday.

The PUNCH reports that the labour union had stormed the site protesting the alleged violations of labour rights and dehumanisation of workers by a Chinese company, Shaanxi Construction Engineering Group Corporation.

It said the company engaged the workers on an ad hoc basis with no conditions of service attached nor any welfare or medical services in place, a development that prompted the protest and led to the arrest of the workers.

However, speaking at the site after over six hours of chanting solidarity songs, the labour president noted that the allowance was to show support for members of the union who are harassed and arrested by security personnel during peaceful protests carried out in support of workers maltreated by their employers in the country.

Although he didn’t reveal the amount to be paid, the NLC President charged all affiliate unions to begin the implementation process immediately.

He said, “I am making a pronouncement that henceforth, we are going to introduce detention allowance and this will from the workers detained for the picketing done by the union yesterday.

“We urge all unions to start immediately because harassment and detention by security personnel is one of the hazards of the job;  that we retain this solidarity. It doesn’t matter how much, when a worker is detained because of his or her conviction, there is a need to support the person.”

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