Nigeria Union of Pensioners Contributory Pension Scheme Sector has dragged the Ministry of Labour and Employment to the National Industrial Court for registering Contributory Pensioners Union of Nigeria. It described the new group as a parallel union.
NUPCPS said it was unlawful and unconstitutional to register a new association when one with similar mandate still existed, praying the court to stop CPUN registration immediately.
While announcing the creation of the new union during a valedictory held in his honour at the end of his first term as Minister of Labour and Employment in May this year, Dr Chris Ngige had said that the new union was registered to cater for contributory pensioners, adding that the Nigeria Union of Pensioners would then take care of only non-contributory pensioners from the federal ministries and the public service.
But in a seven-page brief signed by the chairman of NUPCPS, Sylva Nwaiwu, its secretary, Adebayo Martins and the assistant secretary, Paul Ajibogwu, the union said there was already a viable platform to defend the welfare and interests of contributory pensioners in Nigeria. It said there was no legal justification in registering another union which performed similar roles and functioned as NUPCPS.
The group said NUPCPS’s recognition by the NUP followed due process after consulting with contributory pensioners, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Registrar of Trade Unions, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Service and Establishment, Director General of the National Pension Commission and the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate.
The group also claimed that the present Minister of Labour and Employment, Ngige, was the minister when the NUPCPS was formed and that he consented to its affiliation with the NUP. It also claimed that its activities as a union on behalf of contributory pensioners were documented with all relevant Federal Government agencies, saying it had chapters in all states and local governments in Nigeria.
The union said, “If the intentions of the minister were genuine, he would have consulted with all stakeholders in the NUP before registering another union. He ought to have foreseen the crisis that any imposition of another union against NUPCPS and its members could generate nationwide.
“Whereas the minister may register a new trade union as provided by Trade Union Act T14, 2014, he is not to do so where there exists a trade union with the same functions, aims and objectives. We hereby seek the immediate prosecution of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to stop the registration of Contributory Pensioners Union of Nigeria CPUN.”