The British Trade Union Congress ( TUC) has cautioned the government against any drop in resources meant to sustain the unemployed even as it is hopeful that more people will find jobs this month of January.
TUC based its optimism on a drop in the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in December 2009, saying,Â “Another fall in the claimant count this month would be an encouraging sign and a figure below 1.6 million would be excellentâ€.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber in a statement issued in LondonÂ said: â€˜The mixed signals in Decemberâ€™s unemployment figures showed the economy was still on a knife edge. Todayâ€™s figures will be a key indication of whether the encouraging signs in last monthâ€™s statistics were just a blip or a sign that Government investment to help people off the dole and stimulate the economy is really paying offâ€.
He said â€œ even if the figures are improving, for every person struggling to get work, this recession remains a personal tragedy. This is no time for complacency while many – particularly the young – are still out of work. It would be madness to cut the resources dedicated to helping the unemployed, as some are suggesting, when the medicine is slowly beginning to have an impact.â€.
In Nigeria there is no dole for the employed.Â Its simply a case of everyone for himself, God for us all.
…observes unemployment situation
*Youth unemployment: Young people have been the big losers in this recession so far, says the TUC. The unemployment rate for people aged 18-24 is 18.4 per cent, far higher than the 6.3 per cent rate for those aged 24-49 or 4.5 per cent for the over 50s. The number of unemployed 18-24 year olds has been rising in recent months.
The TUC believes another increase over 10,000 would indicate that it will be a long time before the youth recession ends, and any figure over 980,000 would be real cause for concern.
* Long-term unemployment: December 2009 saw a significant deceleration in the rate at which the number of people who are unemployed over 12 months has been growing, and this followed a similar – though less dramatic – fall in November 2009. The TUC believes long-term unemployment destroys happiness and shatters self-confidence, and is hoping for an increase of 10,000 or less in the January 2010 figures.
* Claimant count: The number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell for the first time in December 2009. says the TUC.
NUPENG laments harassment of members
NIGERIA Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), has called on government to call its agencies to order and stop harassing and provoking Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) members of the union to avoidable wildcat strikes. General Secretary of NUPENG, Comrade Elijah Okougbo, in statement, lamented that â€œthe security breach and over-zealousness by law enforcement agencies such as Joint Military Task Force (JTF), Navy, Police, Civil Defence, Lagos State Transport Management Agency (LASTMA) against tanker drivers have become endemic. The frequent wildcat actions are as a result of these unhealthy relationships. Only recently, on December 29, 2009, at about 11.00 a.m., an A.P tanker driver with full loaded truck from Mosimi to Ore was accosted at a road block shortly after Ijebu Ode and was shot on the forehead when he refused to part with money to the police.
Simultaneously in Warri, some JTF soldiers on road block around Gen. Ejoorâ€™s Amphibious barracks ran berserk by attacking tanker drivers destroying some of their oil trucks and shooting one of the tanker drivers who is now lying critically ill at the General hospital at Agbarho. They involved armoured tanks in their mayhem.â€
â€œEarlier before then,Â some tanker drivers operating at oil depots along Dockyard road, Apapa, were mercilessly brutalized, arrested and detained for resisting monetary extortion by Naval non-commissioned officers and ratings. This led to a wildcat action for some days and disrupted the distribution of petroleum products in Lagos. For how long are we going to continue with the brutality of these canon folders who continue to abuse their uniforms and professional ethics?â€