Organised Labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), have issued directives to their members and affiliate bodies to commence indefinite nationwide strike on Tuesday, October 3 over Federal Government’s delay to address their concerns following the removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit (PMS).
NLC President, Joe Ajaero and his TUC counterpart, Festus Osifo, announced this after their joint emergency National Executive Council (NAC) meeting in Abuja, yesterday.
All affiliates and state councils have been directed to mobilise members for street protests and rallies until government responds positively to their demands.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Ajaero and Osifo said the government has totally abdicated its responsibility and shown gross unwillingness to act, abandoning Nigerian people and workers to excruciating poverty and affliction.
They also accused the government of continually forestalling all avenues to peaceful dialogue with organised labour on ways to save Nigerians from the huge hunger and suffering being experienced across the nation as a result of the hike in the price of petrol (PMS).
Ajaero and Osifo further said the government had continued to demonstrate an unwillingness to mitigate the massive hardship in the country as well as complete lack of intention to take positive steps and empathy for the multi-dimensionally impoverished citizens of Nigeria.
“The Federal Government has, therefore, not met in any substantial way, the demands of Nigerian workers and peoples as previously canvassed in our mutually agreed roadmap to salvage the economy and protect workers and Nigerians from the monumental hardships. The grace period given by the two labour centres has since expired.”
They alleged that trade unions have continued to face severe threats from the state via the brutal and suppressive power of the police and government.
“National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) continues to be illegally occupied by the government via the instrumentally of the police that have cloned the leadership of NURTW.
“Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) continues to be illegally occupied by the Lagos State government in total disregard to the courts and the statutes
“That the state within the life of the ultimatum via the police has caused loss of lives and properties with untold injuries on Nigerian workers who were on their way to go back to their union’s national headquarters in Abuja.
“They further alleged blackmail and sponsored campaigns of calumny against trade union leaders in the social media using buying and coercive powers instead of making efforts to lift the burden on the masses.
“The labour centres consequently, declared that, “in the spirit of the Independence Day celebration and to demonstrate our resolve for a truly independent Nigeria to take our destinies in our own hands and rescue our nation.
“To embark on an indefinite and total shutdown of the nation beginning on zero hours Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
“To direct all workers in Nigeria to withdraw their services from their respective workplaces commencing from October 3.
“To direct all affiliates and state councils to immediately start mobilising accordingly for action to organise street protests and rallies until the government responds positively to our demands.
“To enjoin all patriotic Nigerians to join hands across the nation to assist this government put the people back at the centre of its policies and programmes.”