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We never backed out from the strike, TUC clarifies allegations of non-participation



The Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Tuesday, clarified the circumstances surrounding the two-week warning strike that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) called for two weeks ago, alleging that it initially declined to take part.

TUC President Festus Osifo, made this clarification during Channels Television’s Politics Today interview on Tuesday, rejecting the notion that it had shelved any intention to go ahead with the strike.

Earlier, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero argued that the TUC could not back out of an industrial action that it did not call.

“The NLC will not take under our watch if we give a strike notice and then a union that didn’t give a strike notice says they are backing out of a strike that they didn’t call for,” he asserted.

However, Osifo responded, “No, we never backed out from the strike we did not call,” he said.

He further explained that before announcing a strike, the protocol is for one union to reach out to the other for a conversation, leading to strategies between both.

READ ALSO:Discord within labour as NLC tackles TUC for not taking part in strike action

“In that plan, there are a lot of things that are looked at. You define your clear-cut strategy; you define the timing. You define how you’re going to isolate the downtrodden Nigerians. All these things are defined before both parties will now come and announce a strike action,” the TUC president said.

“But in this case, I can authoritatively tell you that TUC was never contacted in any way. It was the same way Nigerians saw it in the media that there was a warning strike on so-and-so day. So, when we saw it, we were amazed.

“Some of our officers were detailed to follow up but there was no clear-cut response. In our organ meetings, we X-rayed the issues from the beginning to the end. We looked at the issues of the time and strategy; we looked at everything holistically,” Osifo said.

“After looking at it, TUC felt that there was no time for TUC to go on strike. You will renege when there is a plan. So, if both parties agree to do something and one party now says, ‘No, I am no longer doing it,’ that is when you backtrack.”

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