The Civil Society Organisation, CSO, under the aegis of Civil Society and Workers Dialogue Forum (CSWDF), has said it will thwart the National Labour Congress’s plan to strike on October 3, 2023.
In a joint statement released on Thursday, the group’s convener, Abubakar Ibrahim, and co-conveners, Bashir Faisal and Rafiu Shaibu, emphatically expressed their opposition to what they deem an act of sabotage.
- “This statement should serve as official notice to the Director of State Service DSS, IGP, and other security agencies, that we are going to mobilize to streets against NLC on 3rd October 2023,” the CSO stressed.
They pointed out that the NLC had initially endorsed the withdrawal of fuel subsidies, a position that the CSO also advocated for. According to the CSO, the removal of the long-standing subsidy that has burdened the government for centuries should enjoy the support of all stakeholders.
- “We recalled that in June this year, the Union was in talks with the FG over fuel subsidy removal without carrying other stakeholders along, which we protested our exclusion.
- “Having agreed with President Bola Tinubu’s administration, only for the workers Union to recant and propose an indefinite strike is counter-productive and we will mobilize our members across the 36 States and FCT for anti-NLC protest.
The CSO, while acknowledging the challenges confronting Nigerians, highlighted the Federal Government’s strategic efforts in the refurbishment of refineries. These endeavors aim to curtail the expenses associated with importing petrol and gas.
Additionally, the CSO noted that the recent disbursement of palliatives, amounting to N5 billion for each of the 36 states in the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), serves as a crucial component of measures designed to provide relief. These measures are intended to serve as a temporary solution until normalcy is restored.
- “The wage increase of workers is being negotiated with NLC constituting the membership of the committee, hence, we are appalled at what the proposed strike intended to achieve.
- “As opposed to the past, the NLC has always been on the negotiation table before any decision was taken by this administration.
The CSO pointed out that certain states have taken the initiative to acquire buses to enhance public transportation. Moreover, they have contributed additional funds to complement the federal government’s financial support. In light of these actions, the CSO firmly expressed their stance that the proposed strike is unwarranted.
Consequently, the organization issued a call to citizens, urging them not to allow themselves to be unwittingly manipulated in a manner that goes against the genuine interests of the government.
What you should know
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) jointly declared the commencement of an indefinite nationwide strike starting on Tuesday, October 3, 2023. This decision was reached during a joint press conference held in Abuja on Tuesday, September 26, 2023.
The labor unions had previously faced internal disagreements, leading to a two-day warning strike by the NLC alone. However, following discussions within their respective bodies, both labor centers have now united in their resolve to stage an indefinite nationwide strike.
The primary motivation behind this strike is the Federal Government’s failure to address the hardships and socio-economic challenges resulting from the removal of subsidies on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol.