Strike: United Labour Congress Set to Shutdown Economic Activities

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The national leadership of United Labour Congress (ULC) has directed its members to embark on an indefinite strike action from Monday 18th September.

In a communique signed by the National President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, the body asserted that if their demands are not met on or before Friday 15th of September, the ULC shall embark on industrial actions to assist government respect the interests of workers and the citizens.

ULC noted that Federal government’s response to their demands through the Ministry of Labour, after issuing  a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government on August 22 and a 7-day notice of strike which will expire on September 15, failed to adequately address the critical issues raised in their demands.
The communique reads in part; “The appropriate organ of the Congress having deliberated on the letter considered it grossly inadequate in assuaging the fears which drove the decision of the Central Working Committee (CWC) to issue the ultimatum. In lieu of this rejection, it ordered an immediate issuance of a 7 – days final strike notice to the Federal Government which has already been done and which will expire on Friday, the 15th day of September. We hope that the Federal Government understands the goodwill contained in this 7 days final notice and seizes the opportunity to meet the demands as made on them.
“In the event of Federal Government’s refusal to accommodate these demands we shall be compelled to embark on the proposed strike without further warnings.
“ULC urges all Nigerians to therefore take precaution and stock up on basic necessities as the strike will be very effective as we hope to cripple all modes of transportation within the nation; total black out nation-wide; cut-off petroleum products supplies; disrupt banking operations which will make life a bit more difficult for Nigerians.
“We regret these consequences on all of us but we hope that these measures will help us create a nation that is better governed for the benefits of Nigerian workers and Nigerian masses”.

Speaking with Kogireports, Chairman, Kogi State chapter of ULC, Comrade Eleojo Opaluwa, said the industrial action is coming on the heels of two separate ultimatums given to the government. He said the unions under ULC drives the nation’s economy.

“ULC affiliate unions include Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFE), unions of private telecommunication companies, unions of aviation workers and several others.

“We wish to notify Nigerians on the need to prepare for action as the strike will lead to a total shutdown of the economy. We apoligise to Nigerians for the pains they are about to go through but the action is in the overall interest of citizens as it will make our leaders respect workers and the masses.

“Yesterday, we were compelled to picket the Bureau of Public Enterprises over non-payment of entitlements to disengaged PHCN workers. We will relent in our effort to ensure Nigerian workers are treated with dignity,” he said.

ULC demands include banning of army and police stations in workplaces and factory premises. This they said will stop employers who are now colluding with the Army and other security agencies from setting up garrisons in factories for the purposes of intimidating and harassing workers in order to deny them their rights and privileges.
ULC is also demanding for an immediate review of the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to save Nigerians the agony of suffering under the suffocating darkness which the GENCOs and DISCOs have foisted on the nation.
“We demand for the immediate payment of all the arrears of salaries owed Nigerian workers at all levels of Government without exception. Federal Government must honours its 2009 agreement with University Lecturers under the umbrella of ASUU quickly and commence negotiations with them on new issues so that our universities will re-open.
“We demand the discontinuance of the obnoxious proposed Bill at the National Assembly seeking to control free speech couched under the guise of the Bill against hate speech but has the real intention of protecting the ruling elite from being held accountable by the citizenry.
“The withholding of registration certificate of the ULC be stopped and the certificate released forthwith so that the nation’s Industrial Relations clime will be made more inclusive and robust.
“The immediate inauguration of the national minimum wage negotiating committee in line with the above so that it can commence sitting instantly.
“If these demands are not met on or before Friday the 15th of September, the ULC shall embark on Industrial actions to assist your Government respect the interests of workers and the citizenry.

The labour union called on all genuine patriots to join hands in solidarity with ULC to urge the Federal Government and state governors to be kind enough to meet the demands of Nigerian workers and masses.

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