THE Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, yesterday, declared indefinite strike starting from October 3 to force the federal government to address excruciating suffering and hardship across the country, occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy.
The resolution came, despite promises by the federal government to conclude wage award, which was a major demand by the labour leaders, to the two labour centres
In a joint communiqué after both Labour centres held separate emergency National Executive Council, NEC, meetings, leaders of the two bodies urged Nigerians to brace up for a long strike and use between yesterday and next Monday to stockpile foodstuff and other necessities.
Though the Trade Union Congress, TUC, did not participate in the two-day warning strike embarked upon by the NLC two weeks ago, it has, however, resolved to team up with the NLC on the indefinite strike.
The communiqué, jointly read by NLC and TUC Presidents, Joe Ajaero and Festus Osifo, respectively, at the Labour House, Abuja, directed state councils and affiliates of the two centres to step up mobilization of members and allies for total strike.
Total indefinite strike
They said the indefinite strike is a result of the perceived insensitivity of government to the plights of workers and other Nigerians, following the petrol subsidy removal and continuous demonstration of unwillingness and complete lack of initiative to address the fall-outs of the removal and other harsh economic policies.
According to the communiqué: “NLC and TUC in their various meetings deeply analyzed the current situation in the country, taking into cognizance the extensive hardships and deprivation afflicting our citizens across all states of the federation and unanimously condemned the apparent conscious lethargy and tardiness in handling the consequences of its Petrol Price hike on Nigerians.
‘No meaningful dialogue’
“The councils deliberated on the continued refusal of the Federal Government to engage in a meaningful and constructive dialogue within the ambit of good faith given the 21 days ultimatum and the subsequent successful two-day nationwide warning strike of the 5th and 6th of September and other meetings that were supposed to demonstrate the preparedness of Nigerian workers to push through their decision to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike if their demands were not met.”
The communiqué explained that “the NLC and TUC NEC-in-session observed that there is no disagreement between labour and government on the existence of massive suffering, impoverishment and hunger in the country as a result of the hike in the price of petrol which demands an urgent need for remedial action.