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ITF Abuja delegation condemns kidnap of schoolgirls and attacks on workers

26 Jun 2014
Bring Back Our Girls
The ITF has expressed support during a congress preparation meeting in Nigeria this week for the international campaign to secure the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram.

The group has also claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on the central bus station in the Nigerian capital Abuja which killed more than 300 people on 14 April, including nine bus workers who were members of ITF affiliate the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

Union representatives from across West and East Africa gathered in Abuja this week to apply for their visas and prepare to attend the ITF congress in Sofia, Bulgaria in August. They used the opportunity to add their voices to condemnation of Boko Haram, which has attracted international attention over the past month.

ITF Africa representatives and ITF assistant general secretary Stuart Howard met with members of the NURTW at the bombed bus station, including the branch secretary whose members were killed in the attack. Howard said: "As trade unionists we stand for unity and solidarity. We strive for better conditions for workers. Boko Haram is intent on making everyday life difficult and full of fear for ordinary people; workers and schoolchildren. There must be action taken to bring this climate of fear and intimidation to an end."

View pictures from the bus station and affiliate action in Abuja >>

During the week participants also received pre-congress training and visited the NURTW offices where they were given an overview of the union's work. Union projects include the development of 250 homes, the provision of antenatal health care and an insurance scheme for workers.

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