The two-day warning strike declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week must take place even if the government intervenes.
Comrade Sam Udekwe, the chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Enugu State, disclosed this on Monday when he featured on ‘Political Voices’ of Dream FM, Enugu.
Udekwe said, “Nothing stops the warning strike even if the government makes a last minute intervention. The strike is informed by regular government failures on its resolutions with Labour. We have no other weapons except strike when pushed to the wall. The demands are not what government can’t implement, but they don’t want to.”
On accusations that NLC is not sensitive to the plights of the generality of Nigerians, Udekwe said, “Labour is not insensitive to what the economy has become. Labour represents the welfare of the masses, non-government workers inclusive. If the subsidy was removed, the saved funds should be transmitted to the masses through Labour. It should be distributed appropriately.
“NLC is not only discussing workers’ welfare. We are talking about the manner subsidy palliatives are being handled. We had stated that basic measures ought to be on ground before the subsidy is removed. We are talking about the welfare of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, which is being threatened. We are looking into moves in Imo State to clone Labour, as well as what is happening to Abia workers. When workers earn well, it transcends to traders and other sectors of the economy.”
Callers during the programme described NLC as a ‘toothless bulldog’. One of them said, “NLC has become political. Before now, Labour was protecting the masses, but today’s Labour has been compromised. We want action; shut down Nigeria because recent governments don’t listen. They are after their holiday allowances and pockets. NLC only knows how to cut workers’ salaries in the name of unionism, but can’t challenge oppressive governments. In subsidy palliatives, NLC is watching. Akpabio announced millions of holiday allowances for senators, and NLC kept mute.”