Hike in Commodities: Why we walk out of meeting with federal govt– NLC

…we shall consult before strike actions

By Victor Akaa, Abuja

The Organised Labour says lack of sincerity and the violation of agreement reached between the Federal Government and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) was the reason its leadership walked out of the meeting held with the federal govt following the hike in fuel price and electricity tariffs.

The organised Labour had on Sunday walked out of the meeting with FG over an insincere conduct by the FG in keeping its part of agreement it reached with Labour before it suspended the planned protest which was to commence on September 28.

This lack of sincerity, according to them necessitated the leadership of Organised Labour, comprising the Nigerian Labour Congress, (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress, (TUC), to stage out of the meeting with the federal government on Sunday night.

The meeting had in attendance the leadership of organised Labour and FG representatives including ,the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo; Minister of State for Petroleum, Timiprye Sylva; Minister of State for Power, Goddy Agba and the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Deputy President Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero said the Nigerian government was not ready to have a sincere dialogue with the Organised Labour towards addressing the issues of hike in petroleum price and electricity tariffs.

“Our strike was suspended based on certain understanding and those understanding were being violated, that was why we raised that alarm yesterday (Sunday) which led to the walk out.

“And this is in spite of the patriotic understanding of labour which has drawn the flak of the public which think we are not doing enough to protect their interests on the issues of petroleum products and electricity tariffs.” he noted.

“Our strike was suspended based on certain understanding and those understanding were being violated that was why we raised that alarm yesterday which led to the walk out.”

According to Comrade Ajaero, there was no plans to embark on strike action now until the Organised Labour consulted widely before taking any decision to embark on any strike

“We can’t come in here to announce a strike or the next strategy as if its just a one-man organisation.” he stated.

Also speaking, the TUC President, Quadri Olaleye said,the FG was dishonest to the labour and was playing to the gallery with a view to painting the Organised Labour in a bad light before the civil servants and the public.

According to him,the labour had seen lack of sincerity on the part of FG while trying to put them at risk.

“We are in the process of discussing for over three months now. And they (FG) made announcement increasing the fuel price again.
And no other person than NNPC. When has authority been given to NNPC to increase the price of PMS?”

According to him, the FG’s misconduct was not acceptable.

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