Tuesday, May 17, 2016 11:26 pm
All indications are that the general strike called by the Nigerian Labour Congress against tomorrow, to protest the N145 pump price for petrol, is heading for the rocks.
There are deep divisions within the labour, with the two oil unions, PENGASSAN and NUPENG having already given early signals that their members would not be part of the strike.
Today, a factional president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero,also said his faction will not take part in the planned strike called by the Congress to protest the fuel price hike.
Ajaero told journalists in Abuja that his faction cannot be part of the action because it was called at a wrong time and with wrong motives.
He also accused the Ayuba Wabba faction of asking the government to write off the N2 billion loan the group collected in 2012 to buy buses.
He said: When you are asking that the loan given to you in 2012, which had not been paid back should be written off, we believe that the action has already been sold out before it takes off.
“So, we will wait for our group to meet. But definitely, it appears that by ideology and every other thing. We can no longer meet. We thought we should have managed this in the interest of Nigerians but from the look of things, if appear we have to go our different ways.
While insisting that his group will not participate in the strike, Ajaero said, “If we wanted to be serious about an action, you can’t call for an action on Wednesday. It is only an action that is sold out that is called for Wednesday so that by Friday, you say you have strike lethargy and call it off.
On Tuesday, while Ayuba Wabba faction of the NLC insisted that it would go ahead with the strike, a government team, made up of Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Federal government secretary, Babachir Lawal announced a peace deal with the Ajaero group.
In addition, the Federal Government warned its workers from joining the strike by the Wabba group and TUC.
A statement signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal warned civil servants against participating in the strike, adding that any worker who participated in the strike would not be entitled to his or her wage.
”The attention of all Public Officers is drawn to the notice issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to embark on an indefinite strike from Wednesday, 18th May, 2016. This notice is regrettably given in spite of an Order by the Industrial Court against the strike action.
”Government, therefore, calls upon and advises all workers to respect the laws of the land and to desist from participating in an illegal strike action.
”Government undertakes to guarantee the safety of workers and their work places, and expects that normal work will continue in the interest of the nation.
”Accordingly, Security agencies have been directed to ensure unimpeded access to offices, work places and markets.
”Acts of intimidation, harassment, including barricading of gates, locking up of offices, blocking of roads and preventing workers from carrying out their lawful duties will be met with appropriate response by the law enforcement agencies.
”All workers, whether in public or private sector are further reminded of the Trade Dispute Act, 2004, which provides that “where any worker takes part in a strike, he shall not be entitled to any wages or remuneration for the period of the strike and any such period shall not count for the purpose of reckoning the period of continuous employment and all rights dependent on continuity of employment shall be prejudicially affected accordingly.”
”Accordingly, all Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Government Agencies are hereby directed to invoke the provision of “no work no pay” in respect of any staff who absents him or herself from work to join the strike action.
”Attendance registers are required to be opened in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.