The Federal Government, yesterday presented a letter of approval of registration to an informal sector trade union, the Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers of Nigeria, AUATWON.
A statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, informed that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige made the presentation at a ceremony in his office.
The membership of the new union comprises all app-based transport workers, online transport services, and e-hailing drivers and operators in Nigeria.
Making remarks before the presentation, Ngige described the registration of the new union as a milestone in labour administration, particularly in the trade union services segment, adding that it marks a continued global journey to formalise the informal sector, which constitutes the larger population in the world of work.
The Minister noted that prior to now, the informal sector had been unmanageable, owing to a lack of an identifiable structural framework to harmonise and demarcate its diverse sectors.
Ngige said, “hitherto, we gave recognition and certification to workers in the formal sector, including the private sector, such as banks, oil and gas, insurance, among other technical areas, and the public sector workers in the unions of pensioners, teachers and recently, the two newly registered university-based unions, the Congress for University Academics (CONUA) and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA).
“Today, we are breaking new ground with those in the informal sector who are employing themselves and from there, employing others. The promoters of AUTWON applied for registration as a trade union on April 27, 2021, to cater for self-employed persons in the field of IT-based transportation services.
“We considered necessary factors and perimeters, especially the global movement, which is sponsored mostly by the International Labour Organisation, ILO, to formalise the informal sector that has most of the working population in the world of work, characterised and independent owned-account workers.