By Nwafor Sunday
The social media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs Lauretta Onochie, Monday did a comparative analysis of Nigeria and United Kingdom strikes.
Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, had vowed to embark on strike following the Federal Government’s refusal to reverse the hike in electricity tariff and fuel pump price.
FG had increased electricity tariff from about N30.23 to about N62.33 per kwh, while the price of petrol was increased from about N145 to about N161 per litre.
Considering the poor economic state of Nigerian workers, NLC through Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, insisted that FG should reverse the increase nor have its members embark on strike.
Having prepared to go on strike on Monday, the minister of Labour and Employment organised a meeting with leaders of NLC and TUC respectively.
After the meeting NLC called off its strike, noting that both parties have looked into the issue of fuel price hike and what was needed to be put in place in order to address the issue of the increase.
According to Wabba: “We have discussed the state of our refineries and how to achieve sustainable refineries.
“We have also looked at the issue of the tariff hike and other challenges. “We agreed to suspend the strike, and we agreed to also put a committee in place to work out lasting solution in addressing these challenges, including the issue of metering and importantly also is to bring about the issue of efficiency.
“We also reviewed the process of privatisation and other issues such as clear palliatives that were needed to be extended to our members and Nigerians to cushion the effect of these policies,” he said.
Wabba, therefore, called for social dialogue as a way of addressing issues of industrial relations, socio-economic issues and also issues of development.
According to him, the labour hopes that the communique will be implemented, and therefore, the decision of the organised labour as represented here is to suspend the action.
“We are going to convey our Central Working Committee meeting to present the communique to them,” he said.
Reacting to the above, Lauretta opined: “In the UK, if a Union calls for a protest, it tells its members how many days they will be protesting and how many of those days the union will pay the striking workers. It’s not compulsory.
In Nigeria, union pockets union dues. Forces people to strike and govt pays them. Na so!”