STRIKE: Labour insists on mass action after meeting with Reps speaker – ORDER PAPER

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OrderPaperToday – Workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have insisted on the strike action to protest the increment in petrol and electricity tariffs.

This is in spite of an intervention by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, who on Sunday, appealed to the NLC to embrace dialogue and shun its planned strike scheduled to commence Monday, 28th September 2020.

Gbajabiamila made the appeal following an emergency meeting between the leadership of the House and the union who were represented by Mr. Ayuba Wabba, President of the NLC, and representatives of the TUC.

Addressing the unions, Gbajabiamila said: “I want to specifically thank you for honoring this meeting, we had hoped that the series of meetings you had with the Ministry of Labour would yield positive outcome unfortunately talks between you and Labour has broken down and it beholds on us as representatives of the people to be able to intervene”.

He continued: “We can’t afford to go on this for our good conscience. However, we are on same page, so we can not afford to go on this because of the consequences of the common man. We share your thoughts, we also share your philosophy and we also understand the pains Nigerians are going through and we therefore cannot compromise either. Although, sometimes, it is good to continue to dialogue  no matter what it takes.

“When we go into battles we must try to understand what is the end of the game. I would have love for government to reverse its decision but, mostly even in advanced countries, it is difficult for governments to reverse its decision. The last meeting we had with the Vice President (Professor Yemi Osinbajo) we prevailed on him to stop the electricity tariff hike till the middle of next year. The government has said we pay the lowest tariff in the world but what we should be talking about here should be the timing”.

The Speaker further disclosed that they would meet with federal government to reiterate their position.

“We would definitely stake a meeting with the federal government and we would reiterate our position. Please, I appeal that we tarry a while hence the 2021 budget would be presented in a few weeks and most of these things you mentioned would be addressed in the budget”.

Speaking earlier, the President of NLC thanked the Speaker for always intervening for the good of the common masses.

“I want to thank you immensely for always making efforts to intervene. We feel we should talk to you so that collectively we can find a lasting solution to the lingering crises affecting our people. However, we were not consulted before the increment increment on electricity tariff and fuel hike was made. The hike as you well know has a negative impact on the Nigeria worker and Nigerians in general. In such a major decision, all stakeholders should be consulted. Recall that this House was also of the opinion that electricity tariff should be put on hold pending metering of all households”.

However, addressing newsmen after a brief closed door, Mr. Wabba informed journalists that they would go ahead with the strike except government meets up with their demands between now and tomorrow.

“If the issues are not addressed, you are aware that we have given a notice, that notice would certainly expire by tomorrow (which is Monday). All the actions we pronounced will actually take place”.

Read the original article HERE

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