Nigerian, South African unions to meet over xenophobic attacks
• ULC, Foluso Phillips expresses concern
A newly inaugurated trade group, United Labour Congress (ULC) has said plans are underway to hold talks with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) over the recent attacks of Nigerian in that country.
The union expressed concern over the ongoing xenophobic attacks against foreigners in South Africa, calling on the Federal Government to immediately evacuate Nigerians to prevent further killings.
Nigerians and other Africans have been subjected to huge losses – physically, financially and mentally, following the resumption of attacks on foreigners, in a move that has attracted global criticism, as the South African Government is unable to check the escalation of the onslaught.
Meanwhile the Chairman, Nigeria South Africa Chamber of Commerce, Foluso Phillips said the National Union of Nigerian Students and a host of Niger Delta ‘vigilante’ groups are gathering and threatening to carry out counter reprisal attacks against ‘South African’ companies in Nigeria as an act of retaliation. .
“This does not make sense and relegates us to the same level of naivety and indeed stupidity as the black South Africans causing havoc in their country. The difference is that these companies in Nigeria are Nigerian companies. They employ Nigerians, are managed by Nigerians and serve very many Nigerians, especially the likes of MTN, DSTV, Standard Bank, SA Breweries, Sasol and another hundred other companies.
”To shut them down is to shoot ourselves in the foot and to be quite honest, the South African Government would not care that much. Their people are not being hurt and the destruction of the business in Nigeria does nothing to them in South Africa but a lot to us here,” he said.
He added:”MTN is a Nigerian company employing thousands of Nigerians directly and indirectly, whose livelihood would be challenged by such destructive act. This applies to so many other ‘South African’ companies operating in Nigeria as well.
Speaking in Lagos at the ULC’s inaugural Central Working Committee (CWC), its National President, Joe Ajaero, said: “COSATU should speak out against the misplaced aggression. The ULC is putting in place modalities to reach out to our comrades in that nation for positive steps in building better relations between our citizens in the future.
COSATU is the largest of South Africa’s three labour federations, with 1.8million members from 21 affiliated trade unions.