Darkness, fuel scarcity loom as Labour plans strike for Friday

As fuel scarcity bites harder govt says PENGASSAN planned strike is against agreement

It appears the season of strikes in Nigeria is set to continue Friday as affiliates of United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC), including Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), are set for a nationwide strike.

Other affiliates of ULC likely to join the industrial action are National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE); National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Employees (NUBIFIE); Nigeria Union of Mine Workers, National Association of Aviation Professionals, Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria; Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria; Nigeria Union of Railway Workers; Private Telecommunications, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, and Nigeria Union of Shop and Distributive Employees.

In a statement Tuesday in Lagos by its General Secretary, Didi Adodo, UCL noted that the Federal Government was yet to address the concern of its members following a 14-day ultimatum issued to it through its Central Working Committee (CWC) which expired Friday, September 8, 2017.

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He noted that in keeping with industrial relations’ best practices, ULC had issued a final seven-day strike notice to the Federal Government to address its demands or face nationwide strike.

According to Adodo, the seven-day notice which was contained in a letter addressed to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, would expire Friday, September 15, warning that after that, a nationwide strike will follow without further notice.

The group lamented the unsatisfactory official response it received from the Federal Government on the matter which came by way of a letter from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

ULC said mobilisation for the strike had begun nationwide, adding that state councils and affiliates were on alert to ensure that, if the Federal Government failed to meet the demands, they shall be compelled to embark on strike across the country.

UCL’s demands reads, “once again, we reiterate these demands as follows: That Federal Government bans the stationing of the Army and Police in our workplaces and factory premises.

‘’This will stop employers who are now colluding with the Army and other security agencies from setting up their men in our factories for the purposes of intimidating and harassing workers in order to deny them their rights and privileges.

“The Army and the Police should immediately withdraw their men in the different workplaces where they are currently stationed.

“That the government should demand that the Federal Ministry of Labour sets up a task force immediately to carry out factory inspections as most of our factories are death traps.

“An immediate review of the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, to save Nigerians the agony of suffering under the suffocating darkness which the GENCOs and DISCOs have foisted on the nation among other demands”.


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Chidi Chinedu