Labour disputes: AUPCTRE drags DESOPADEC to court

By Glory Abuh-Adejoh

The National Industrial Court on Monday ordered the  Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Technical and Recreational Employees (AUPCTRE) and the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC) to explore out-of-court settlement.

Justice Babatunde Adejumo, made the order when suit filed by AUPCTRE against DESOPADEC was brought before him for hearing.

Adejumo also ordered the parties to maintain status quo pending a possible exploration of settlement.

The judge held that the order would subsist pending the determination of the matter.

“The parties are hereby directed and encouraged to meet, dialogue and report back to the court’s division in Yenagoa for either report of settlement or continuation of trial,’’ he said.

AUPCTRE had approached the court over alleged unlawful labour practice against its members by the defendant.

The union is therefore seeking an order compelling the defendant to pay arrears of 30 per cent of salaries owned them since July 2009 to date.

Mr Aduojo Abah, Counsel to the Claimant (AUPCTRE) in the originating summons sought the order court to declare the actions of the defendant unlawful.

AUPCTRE also prayed the court to declare that the refusal of the defendant to address issues of workers welfare constituted unfair labour practice.

The claimant is seeking the order of court to compel the defendant to pay its members an outstanding two years accumulated end-of-year allowance.

The union is also seeking an order compelling the defendant to implement the medical package as stipulated in the defendant’s staff condition of service.

The claimant is also seeking an order of the court to compel the defendant to set aside the queries and suspension issued to some of its members as a result of their union activities.

The counsel averred that the union was also seeking an order to compel the activation of the promotion of its members in line with the provision of the defendant’s conditions of service.

The defendant in its respondent’s brief, however countered all the claimant’s allegations, adding that the agency had not unlawfully treated the union members on its payroll in any way.

No new hearing date was fixed for the matter yet.

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