‘We ‘ll Resist NURTW’s Attempt To Violate Court Order’

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The Chairman, Rivers Drivers Transport Co-operative Union Ltd. Mr. Binoye Sunday has vowed to resist any attempt by the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in violating an order by Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt presided over by Magistrate D. D. Ihua Maduenyi on suit No. PHC/1668C/2018.
He asked both parties to maintain the peace and status quo inorder not to cause further breakdown of the peace over unionisation.
Mr. Sunday who made the vow in a chat with ours correspondent in his office in Port Harcourt recently frowned at some prominent personalities in the state government who were trying to take side for reason best known to them, describing it as unfortunate and ignorance of the law.
He disclosed that the Labour Act Cap 198 LFM 2004 and Cap T12 National Union 2004 is explicit that the NURTW and co-operative are separate bodies and also expressed dismay why the Act should not be obeyed, adding that the National Industrial Court had on April 19, 2018 in suit No. NICN/YEN/448/2016 gave a verdict on the case of who controls the self-employed drivers in terms of unionization had been affirmed that the co-operative cannot be unionized by NURTW.
According to him one of the functions of a Trade Union is to control the terms and conditions of employed workers excluding the transportation undertaken by Petroleum and transportation by the self-employed persons on the road.
The Chairman of Rivers Drivers Transport Co-operative Union Ltd. further expressed dismay that in a meeting on December 10,2018 some government officials threatened to sanction or proscribe them if they refused to join the NURTW, and mandated Transports Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN) to control the self-employed by printing and selling of daily tickets to members, including “Keke Riders” , adding that this is the highest form of intimidation, impunity and racialism.
Mr. Sunday also told our correspondent that a petitioned titled “proliferation of illegal unions” was also treated with kid gloves during the meeting as he asked for some clarification on some issues, and stressed that neither the NURTW nor TOAN had the statutory right or authority to usurp the activities and offices of Co-operative, recalling that in a meeting of April 12, 2018 at Government House, the Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike said he had no right to ban union but had right to ban tri-cycle operators in Rivers State.
According to him, extortion and mamming of his members is now on the increase in Port Harcourt and its environs as they operate despite an order by the Rivers State Internal Revenue Service (RIRS) in 2016, stopping sales of daily tickets or tools to commercial road users in order to harmonise the taxpaying system following complaints of multiple taxation by Local Government, Community and RIRS tickets, CDC daily tools among others.