Governors, Labour on the path to avert impending strike
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Nigeria Labour Congress have begun the process of resolving tension created by Labour’s threat to embark on industrial action if the Federal Government does not rescind its decisions to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Electricity Tariff in the country.
This was the outcome of an early morning dialogue between representatives of the Forum and workers, which held at the residence of the Chairman of the NGF, in Abuja, early yesterday.
The Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, spoke for the Forum while the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, was accompanied by the TUC President Quadri Olaleye and the NLC General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboajah, to the meeting.
Also at the meeting was the Director-General of the NGF, Mr. Asishana Okauru.
Fayemi said NGF decided to wade into the matter with a view to broadening consultations and assisting to stop the impending strike action.
He pleaded with the NLC that the timing of the action was not appropriate and could aggravate an already worsening situation if not averted.
He said the plight of workers was already in dire straits and that any action embarked upon by the union at this time would further worsen their situation.
The NGF Chairman said no one that is conversant with the prevailing situation in the country would disagree with labour and its demands, as it were, but pleaded that governors be given time to consult more broadly with the various stakeholders, including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, the vice president, and president.
This, he said, would be a top priority for the NGF and promised to head straight to the presidency once the meeting was over.
Fayemi expressed hope that this gesture from the governors would also energise the leadership of labour to put on hold their planned action.
On his part, the President of the NLC said the Federal Government violated the time-tested global process of dialogue and thanked the NGF Chairman for his efforts at ensuring that sanity returns to the negotiation table.
When the cost of PMS rises, the cost of everything in the country rises with it, the NLC President explained.
He agreed with the NGF chairman and also praised him for agreeing to broaden the mechanism for consultation on the matter saying, “I praise you for showing a good grasp of this matter and I believe that if they had widened the mechanism for consultation and involved people like you, we wouldn’t have come to this pass.”
Meanwhile, officials of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring
Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) have directed members of the Union across the country to join the indefinite strike action as directed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) with effect from tomorrow.
In a circular issued yesterday, and addressed to all textile employers, and copy made available to journalists, the Union’s National President, Comrade John Adaji, and Ag. General Secretary, Comrade Ali Baba, directed the members as well as textile employers to abide by the decision of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress, “to commence an indefinite strike action with effect from Monday, September 28, 2020, if the Federal Government fails to reverse the recent hike in the pump price of petrol and electricity tariff.”