February 21, 2024

NLC proposed protest: NECA calls for rethink

… Planned Strike Will Cripple Nigeria, Senate Appeals To NLC

….NLC Demands Reversal Of Petrol Price

– agency report

July 31, 2023

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association  (NECA) on Sunday said there was urgent need to protect the objectives of sustainable enterprise, decent work and national development.

NECA’s Director-General,  Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, said this in a statement, in view of the proposed Aug. 2, protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress.

Oyerinde expressed worry over what he described as the parlous state of the economy, and recent mobilisation for  civil action by NLC and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.

He, therefore, called for urgent action by government and other stakeholders.

“A call for ‘strike and mass action’ by any social partner at this difficult time, in furtherance of the achievement of its objectives, could potentially cause a breakdown of law and order.

“This is also with attendant risk for organised businesses and the nation as a whole, “ he said.

The director general  said that strike, threat of mass action or civil disobedience that could potentially disrupt the economic activities of businesses would be counter-productive.

Oyerinde noted that sometimes, engagements between organised labour and government might end in deadlock.

He said, however, when that happens, the consequential action by  labour should not, in any way, hinder anyone from going about their businesses peacefully or cause anyone to be intimidated or harassed.

“We re-emphasise the importance of social dialogue, a potent instrument of the International Labour Organization, and a globally accepted mechanism for dispute resolution.

“While it should be noted that various ILO Conventions, rcommendations, international treaties and local legislations guarantee certain rights and privileges to social partners, a call for mass action or civil disobedience is certainly not one of them, “ he said.

The NECA boss urged government to, as a matter of urgency, take immediate steps to ameliorate the economic trauma being faced by workers, Nigerians and organised businesses.

He expressed concerns that many businesses were shut-down and many others were on the verge of closing down.

According to him, such will exacerbate the current unemployment rate and drag many further down the poverty line.

“We strongly request that a coordinated implementation of the various pro-growth and other palliative schemes should commence.

“It should commence without further delay, at the federal level to complement the efforts of some state governments and organised businesses.

“The need for transparent communication and building of national consensus at this difficult time cannot be over-emphasised,” Oyerinde said. 

Planned Strike Will Cripple Nigeria, Senate Appeals To NLC

In a communique at the end of its CWC meeting, the labour union threatened to embark on a nationwide protest from Wednesday, August 2, 2023.

Amid the impending nationwide strike declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Senate has issued an urgent plea, requesting that the labour union reconsiders its planned action.

The Senate’s appeal stems from a deep concern about the strike’s potentially drastic impact on everyday Nigerians, warning that the nation could be plunged into a state of extreme hardship.

Addressing the situation, the Senate on Monday expressed that while the legislative body respects the NLC’s right to protest, it is crucial to weigh this against the potential fallout that could greatly affect citizens’ daily lives and livelihoods.

With the Nigerian economy still reeling from the effects of the global pandemic and the ongoing recovery efforts, a widespread labour strike could further strain the economy, leading to inflation, scarcity of goods and services, and significant inconvenience to the populace.

The Senate also emphasized the legislature’s commitment to engaging in constructive dialogue with the NLC to address its grievances. By focusing on negotiation and communication, it is hoped that a compromise can be reached that safeguards the rights and interests of the workers, while also ensuring the smooth functioning of the nation’s economy.

The Upper Chamber further called upon other relevant stakeholders, including the Federal Government and private sector representatives, to join in the dialogue with the NLC. Such a broad-based discussion, it is hoped, would lead to a more comprehensive and long-lasting solution to the issues at hand.

As the nation watches the developments unfold, the collective hope is for a peaceful resolution that prioritises the welfare of workers and maintains economic stability. With the proposed strike looming, the call for dialogue and understanding has never been more critical.

NLC Demands Reversal Of Petrol Price

On Tuesday July 25th, The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) issued a seven-day ultimatum to the President Bola Tinubu administration to reverse “all anti-poor” people policies including the hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as petrol.

In a communique at the end of its Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting, the labour union threatened to embark on a nationwide protest from Wednesday, August 2, 2023 should the Federal Government fail to do the needful.

The communique was co-signed by NLC President, Joe Ajaero; and the union’s General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja.

The NLC said the Federal Government has shown enormous disdain and contempt for the Nigerian people and have declared a war of attrition on Nigerian workers and masses.

The labour union said since the President’s “subsidy is gone forever” speech on inauguration day on May 29, 2023, “the peace of mind of Nigerians has gone”.

It said the “government has continued to treat Nigerians as slaves and a conquered people which it treats with impunity without any concern on the consequences”.

“That the Federal Government has continued in an unholy mission of robbing the poor to pay the rich in Nigeria as typified by its continued frustration of the activation of the agreed alternatives to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and new hike in prices of PMS to N617 per litre,” the communique partly read.

“That the NNPCL (Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited), has turned itself into the forces of demand and supply and fixes the price of Petroleum products while mouthing deregulation.

“That Government’s conduct suggests it does not intend to commit itself to the MoU it signed with NLC and TUC (Trade Union Congress).

The NLC thereafter demanded “the immediate reversal of all anti-poor policies of the federal government including the recent hike in PMS price, increase in public school fees, the release of the eight months withheld Salary of university lecturers and workers”.

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