Sat, 20 Apr 2024

 

Labour never wants strikes, we want right things done – NLC
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Fri, 9 Feb 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says giving ultimatums to the government does not mean that the labour unions enjoy going on strikes, adding that they only want the right things to be done.

Both the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had on Thursday issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to fulfil the 16-point agreement with the workers since October last year.

Reacting to some comments condemning Labour for always issuing threats for strike actions, Head of International Relations of the NLC, Uchenna Ekwe, who was a guest on Channels Television’s The Morning Brief on Friday, said they only issue an ultimatum when reminders to the government are not acted upon.

“Usually people see when NLC starts putting warning and if you notice the comments, people will say we don’t want a strike, it will disrupt. Balancing all these, Let me make this clear, the NLC is actually never interested in a strike, we don’t want a strike; we want the right things to be done,” Ekwe said.

“Before you see us issue a public ultimatum, there must have been many communications that are not meant public to the government system calling their attention to probably an agreement like in this case.”

He said the agreement between Labour and the government was reached in October last year and many communications serving as a reminder to the government have been going on which has yielded little impact.

He lamented that some items out of the 16-point agreement have not received any attention and that the unions want it to be addressed.

The NLC Head of International Relations also dismissed insinuations that Labour is playing to the gallery and trying to use its influence to quell agitations and protests in the country over hardship. He said that Labour had no reason to play to the gallery as it would be of no benefit to the workers and the Nigerian people.

Ekwe said that the wage award which is part of the agreement with the government has only received partial implementation and many states have not even implemented it at all.

On the agreed palliative to cushion the effect of petrol subsidy removal which led to rise in cost of living, he noted that only Borno and Kebbi states did something significant in that regard, regretting that other states rather distributed cups of rice and others as palliative which he said was ridiculous.

In the statement signed by the leaders of the two labour unions, Joe Ajaero and Festus Usifo on Thursday, the organised labour expressed sadness that despite the passage of time, “the majority of these crucial agreements remain unmet or negligibly addressed, indicating a blatant disregard for the principles of good faith, welfare and rights of Nigerian workers and Nigerians”.

The organised labour said that it is giving the Federal Government 14 days starting from tomorrow February 9 to February 14, 2024, to fulfil its part of the understanding with the labour unions.

 

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