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NLC, TUC insist strike will begin on Monday

NLC, TUC insist strike will begin on Monday
September 27
14:33 2020

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have refused to suspend their plan to embark on a nationwide strike on Monday.

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The two unions had resolved to go on strike on Monday to protest against the recent hikes in pump price of petroleum and electricity tariff.

But when they met with the house leadership in Abuja on Sunday, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, asked the unions to shelve the plan to give room for negotiations.

However, Ayuba Wabba, NLC president, and Quadri Olaleye, his TUC counterpart, condemned the government’s delay in reversing the hikes as demanded.

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Speaking after the meeting, Wabba said if the issues are not addressed, “all the actions pronounced will be taken as the notice expires tomorrow”.

He, however, commended the house leadership for its intervention.

“We also told him how the meeting with federal government went and how the meeting was adjourned and he has promised to also intervene at his own level to see that we don’t inflict more pains on Nigerians,” he said.

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“In the course of the discussion, we have also realised that the house of representatives has done a lot on the issue including recommendations which they have shared mutually.”

Wabba said the organised labour has not been served with any restraining order from a court in respect to the planned strike, and he asked the federal government not to ambush the unions with any court action.

“There is a valid judgement of the federal high court stopping the tariff increase and that judgement is still subsisting,” he said.

 “In good conscience, we are on the same page, or most of the time, we’re on the same page, and you know, that we, the leadership of the House of Representatives are on the same page with you.

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“But what is the consequence, and that’s the bigger picture of going on strike. When we have a complete government shutdown, the people we seek to protect, invariably end up holding the short end of the stick.

“So it ends up defeating the purpose. You know, sometimes, no matter how long negotiations or talks last, sometimes at the end of the day, it may be the better route to take.

Earlier in the meeting, Gbajabiamila had told the union leaders that although “the leadership of the house of representatives are on the same page with you,” they should consider the consequence of the industrial action.

“When we have a complete government shutdown, the people we seek to protect, invariably end up holding the short end of the stick,” he said.

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“So it ends up defeating the purpose. You know, sometimes, no matter how long negotiations or talks last, sometimes at the end of the day, it may be the better route to take.”

The national industrial court in Abuja had granted an order of interim injunction restraining the labour unions from embarking on the strike pending the hearing and determination of a motion before it.

But Emmanuel Ugboaja, NLC general secretary, said in a statement that the unions will go ahead with the strike and asked members to mobilise for a protest.

Folasade Yemi-Esan, head of civil service, warned federal civil servants not to join the planned strike.

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