The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have suspended the proposed nationwide strike planned for today after reaching agreements with the Federal Government. The agreements include reversal of the new electricity tariff for a period of two weeks pending the outcome of the work of a technical committee set up to examine the new tariff regime and fuel metering among other issues for more understanding.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige who read a communique after their meeting, said both Organized Labour and Government agreed that another steering committee be set up on the petroleum downstream to ensure the nation reduces importation by fixing the existing refineries.
They also reached an agreement that the Federal Government will facilitate the removal of tax on minimum wage as a way of cushioning the impact of the policy on vulnerable Nigerians. The Federal Government will also make available to Organized Labour 133 CNG/LPG driven mass transit buses immediately and send to major cities across the Country on a scale up basis and thereafter to all States and Local Governments before December 2021.
Meanwhile, labour leaders and members of the civil society in Edo State have rejected the decision of the National Leadership of the Organised Labour to suspend its planned nationwide strike.
Led by the Chairman of NLC in Edo state, Mr Sunny Osayande and his TUC counterpart, Mr Marshall Ohue, the labour members occupied the King’s Square Area in Benin City the state capital in a protest. According to the clearly unhappy labour members, the decision to suspend the proposed strike action was taken in a hurry by the National leaders without consultation with the National Executive Council members and key stakeholders across the country.
Osayande asserted that the action of the National labour leadership weakens the labour movement in Nigeria. He said;
We cannot continue to remain in the hands of the few who will mortgage our conscience because next time, when we call on our labour leaders, they will not believe in us or the struggle.
TUC Leader, Mr Ohue, who was also part of the protest said “we are suppose to be the voice of the common man on the street.”
They insisted that government should revert to the old fuel and electricity prices and fix the nation’s refineries immediately.