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As FCT AUPCTRE blazes trail in union activism…

By Abdul Jelil Adebayo

The Abuja chapter of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical, and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) has every reason to jubilate as it reviews its activities.

The chairman, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, chapter of AUPCTRE, Aliyu Muhammad Maradun, said the trade union has represented workers in various sectors, including public corporations, civil service, technical, and recreational services very well.

According to him, AUPCTRE has been actively advocating the rights and welfare of its members who cut across the 85 branches in the FCT. The 85 branches are scattered among the various ministries, departments and agencies domiciled in the FCT .

The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees is a trade union representing public sector workers in Nigeria. The union was founded in 1996, when the government of Nigeria merged the Civil Service Technical Workers’ Union with the National Union of Public Corporations and the Recreational Services Employees’ Union.

AUPCTRE’s objectives revolve around promoting the interests of its members, ensuring fair wages, better working conditions, and job security.
And the leadership of the union has been ensuring that its objectives are adhered to line upon line, precept upon precept. Any harassment of any member and most especially local union staffers, the bigger state union fights and gets justice for its members. Hence, every member appreciates and values the state leadership.

According to Maradun, the union does not take the welfare and any negative condition of service for granted. It rises to the occasion. It has fought and won several battles with various managements of government establishments and has come out victorious.

For instance, Maradun said AUPCTRE had a running battle with the management of Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, and at the end of it all, the union won and all those who were affected were restored back to their duty post.

It was jubilation at the corporate headquarters of CAC last year October when President Bola Ahmed Tinubu sacked Garba Abubakar and appointed a new Registrar General. Staff trooped to the street, jubilating over his sack as RG and welcomed the new helmsman with open arms.

However, the present Registrar General, the fifth so far for CAC, Hussaini Ishaq Magaji, SAN came on board and spread out his olive branch to the state union and has been enjoying cordial relationship with the workers under the aegis of AUPCTRE.

He has been able to carry the union along, addressing their challenges and creating an enabling environment for the workforce in CAC. There is, therefore, industrial harmony in the commission.
The battle for workers’ welfare and subjugation was also recorded at the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC.

Members of AUPCTRE were harassed by the management under the previous leadership and the union took up the gauntlet and got justice for them as the management had no option but for the quest for industrial harmony, bowed to their demands.

Not done yet, Maradun said the union also fought and got justice for its members in Investment and Securities Tribunal, IST. But the most challenging so far was at FCT Water Board. Coincidentally, Maradun is also a senior manager in FCT Water Board. He said the battle was fierce but at the end of the day justice was obtained.

One of the grievances was the overbearing attitude of the special assistant to the then GM who was a level 09 officer who became a thorn to his seniors especially the area managers of Water Board who mostly where on level 15 and 16. At the end of the battle, both the general manager and his SA were shoved aside.

The union, AUPCTRE FCT chairman said, engages in collective bargaining with employers to negotiate favourable terms and conditions of employment. It also provides legal support and representation to members facing workplace disputes or grievances.

He said one of AUPCTRE’s notable roles is its involvement in policy advocacy and activism. The union campaigns for improved public services, transparency, and accountability in government institutions. He said the union also advocates the protection of workers’ rights, including the right to safe working environments and equal opportunities.

AUPCTRE is structured with elected officials at various levels, including national, state, and branch levels, to effectively represent the interests of its members. It conducts regular meetings, seminars, and workshops to educate members on their rights and responsibilities as workers.

In addition to its core functions, AUPCTRE is also involved in community development initiatives and social welfare programmes, demonstrating its commitment to not only its members but also the broader society. Like all its predecessors, it is an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and by 2005 it had 85,000 members.

Overall, Maradun said the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical, and Recreational Services Employees plays a crucial role in championing the rights and interests of workers in Nigeria’s public and technical sectors, especially in FCT, contributing to a more equitable and just society.

But AUPCSTRSE is not just about work, it is also about fostering camaraderie and supporting its members beyond the office walls. Regular recreational activities, from picnics in the park to sports tournaments brought together colleagues from different departments, forging friendships that transcended professional boundaries.

However with time, the reputation of AUPCTRE spread far and wide, inspiring other unions and organisations to follow their example of unity and empowerment. Together, the members worked towards building a trade union where every worker is respected, valued, and heard. All said and done, Maradun and his FCT executives have reason to say they are bringing to the fore the relevance and importance of AUPCTRE in the workforce. Blazing the trail.

Abdul writes from Abuja via abduljelil2001@gmail.com.

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