NLC, TUC adamant as FG obtains fresh order to stop planned strike over petrol, electricity price increase

  • Time for deregulation is now – FG insists
  • NO WAY, Enough is enough! says NLC
  • Aviation, Judiciary, NULGE set for shut down Monday
  • As Civil Society groups vow to occupy Eagle Square October 1

Despite another fresh order by the National Industrial Court (NIC) on organised labour comprising the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) not to embark on its indefinite strike scheduled for Monday, September 28, both unions have enjoined all workers to embark on the indefinite strike pending when the Nigerian Government reverted to the old pump price of petrol and adjust the electricity tariff.

Justice Ibrahim Galadima on Friday gave the order restraining the strike in a ruling on an ex parte application moved on behalf of the Nigerian Government by the Acting Director of the Department of Civil Litigation of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs Maimuna Shiru and Mr Tijjani Gazali, who led the Federal Government’s team

This came barely 24 hours after the same judge made a similar restraining ex parte order in favour of a group, Peace and Unity Ambassadors Association, on Thursday.

The Court also granted an order compelling the Inspector General of Police and the Director General Department of State Services to provide protection for the claimants and other Nigerian worker engaged in their legitimate duties from any form of harassment, intimidation and bullying by the officers, agents or privies of the unions, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

Nevertheless, Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, justified deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, which gave rise to the fuel price increase and why it should stand, insisting that deregulation of the petroleum sector was long overdue.
He also stressed the need for Nigerians to cooperate with government on the increase in electricity tariff, explaining that the decision was not to inflict pains on them.
Meanwhile, President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, has asked the private sector unions to ensure total compliance once the nationwide strike commences by shutting down all production activities.

The NLC president gave the order in Ibadan Oyo State yesterday in a speech he delivered at the 12 Delegates Conference of the National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees, NUCFRLANMPE.

Represented by one of the Vice Presidents of NLC and President of the National Union of Nigeria Nurses Midwives, AbdulRafiu Adeniji, Wabba said: “You understand more than most Nigerians the critical place of electricity in boosting production and making the price of goods and services cheaper.

“Unfortunately, the recent increase in electricity tariff has presented Nigerians with the double jeopardy of dealing with astronomical increases in the price of goods and services and COVID-19.

“Well, Organized Labour says “NO WAY”. Enough is Enough. For over thirty years now, we have given government the chance and benefit of the doubt to fix our refineries but successive governments have failed to repay our faith with necessary actions.

“This time, the Nigeria Labour Congress would lead workers all over the country on an indefinite strike action. This time, the strike action will be total. We are also mobilizing Nigerians and patriotic civil society groups for peaceful protests.

“Nigerian workers and people have had enough already. As we did in 2016, on September 28, 2020 we will be withdrawing our services if government fails to reverse the recent price increases on petrol and electricity,” Wabba said.
Aviation, Judiciary, NULGE set for shut down Monday

Four aviation unions have announced their intention to join the Organised Labour in its strike.

In a statement on Friday, the unions directed workers in the aviation sector to withdraw their services from Monday, September 28.

This means that the airspace may not be open for operations on Monday.

The four unions joining the strike are the National Union of Air Transport Employees, National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals.

“As you are aware, the NLC and the TUC have declared indefinite nationwide strike action with effect from Monday, September 28, 2020.

“Our unions as above named are in full support of the strike action.

“As such, all workers in the aviation sector are hereby directed to withdraw their services at all aerodromes nationwide as from 00hrs of 28th September 2020 until otherwise communicated by the NLC/TUC or our unions.

“All workers shall comply,” the statement read.

Also, judiciary workers, under the aegis of Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) have said they would shut down courts nationwide on Monday in compliance with the directive by the NLC and TUC to embark on strike

The President of JUSUN, Marwan Adamu, said that as an affiliate of NLC, the union of judiciary workers was bound by the umbrella body’s directive to Nigerian workers to proceed on strike from Monday.

“The strike is not JUSUN strike. It is NLC strike. As an affiliate of NLC, we are bound by the strike declaration. So, we are joining the strike,” Adamu said.

Asked if the Wednesday’s order issued by the National Industrial Court in Abuja stopping the planned strike would not be complied with, Adamu said, “The order has not been served on us, so the strike is going on.”

Another union that has announced its intention to join the strike is the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).

Civil Society groups vow to occupy Eagle Square October 1

A coalition of Civil Society groups under the umbrella of Nigerians Against Bad Policies said it would occupy and shut down the Eagle Square, venue of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary in Abuja on October 1, 2020 over the increase in the price of petrol and electricity tariff.

The group said that it had mobilised members across the country to join the NLC and TUC in the nationwide protest against the Nigerian Government.

The coalition disclosed this on Friday in Abuja at a press conference jointly addressed by the Publicity Secretary for Movement for the Socialist Alternative, Oladimeji Macaulay, Gerald O. Katchy of Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, and Juwon Sanyaolu of Take It Back Movement.

Macaulay said no amount of intimidation and harassment by security operatives would stop them from embarking on the mass protest.

He said, “Against this backdrop, the Nigerians Against Bad Policies has begun mass mobilisation of the Nigerian people across board to achieve maximum compliance with the call by NLC/TUC for total strike and protests.

“NABP in liaison with its affiliates across states of the country, shall be organizing rallies, sensitization walks, etc as part of the build up and follow-up to Monday 28th September strike commencement.

“We call on NLC/TUC to be resolute in their demand for total reversal of the increases, and not be cajoled by any partial Greek gifts or so-called palliatives.

“The Nigerian masses who have become totally traumatised by bad governance, leadership insensitivity, run-away inflammation and economic collapse as well as the glaring corruption and lawlessness in the land, are totally committed and willing to wage this struggle with attendant sacrifices until victory is achieved.”

In his own remark, Katchy condemned the attempt by the government to justify the hike in petrol pump price and electricity tariff, describing it as unacceptable.

He said, “Again, we totally reject these and state for the umpteenth time, that these increases cannot be justified for any reason at this time. We in the Nigerians Against Bad Policies see it as nothing but sheer extortion and exploitation of the downtrodden masses of this country. Our demand again is nothing short of immediate and unconditional reversal of the hikes.

‘”In view of the foregoing therefore, we hereby call on Nigerians to massively come out from the 28th September, 2020 to march and protest against these anti-people policies by the Federal Government of Nigeria, to register their grievances and demand immediate and total reversal in the hike in petrol pump price and electricity tariff.” 

Speaking on behalf of Take It Back Movement, Juwon Sanyaolu, slammed President Muhammadu Buhari over the killings and kidnapping of innocent Nigerians by the bandits.

He said, “Government is busy chasing after protesters while bandits are killing and kidnapping people everywhere including Abuja. 

“Starting from 28th September to October 1 and beyond, we will protest and occupy this country. 

“The fact of the matter is that a government that has failed has no reason to continue in the first place. This government has failed and Buhari should resign.”

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