…says Nigerian workers have shown patience, understanding
John Alechenu, Abuja
The leadership of the Labour Party has declared support for the proposed indefinite strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, to press home their demands for better working conditions.
The party said it was in total support of any legitimate means to be deployed by Nigerian workers to press for better working conditions .
This was contained in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, in Abuja, on Wednesday.
He said, “The party therefore fully supports the resolution of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to embark on an industrial action slated to commence as of Tuesday, October 3rd.
“We have followed with keen interest, in the last four months, various meetings between Organized Labour and various government bodies including the President of the Senate, the presidency, and the ministers of Labour as well as all the efforts made by the Labour leadership to get the government understand the magnitude of sufferings government policies have thrown Nigerian Workers and the entire populace into since the enthronement of this administration.
“Labour Party is not in any way surprised at the government’s apparent indifference, insensitivity, intransigence, and recalcitrant posture towards the genuine demands of the Labour bodies because their usurpation of power was not sanctioned by both the workers and generality of Nigerians.
Ifoh further said, “Nigerians went to the polls with clear conviction of the government they wanted but this was denied them through institutional conspiracy.
“Today, Nigerian workers are being punished for taking a stand during the February 25 Presidential Election.
“Labour Party is also aware of the sordid conditions which workers, the majority of them being our members, are subjected to, whereby many of them go to the office on a Monday and are forced by the prevailing economic challenges, to sleep in their offices all through to Friday before they return home.
“Labour Party is surprised that the government claimed that it has removed subsidies on Petroleum products and that it now generates over a trillion naira monthly, yet it finds it difficult to address workers’ demands.
“Daily, Nigerians are subjected to harsh economic realities where the inflation rate is nearing 30 percent, where a dollar is sold above N1000, and where par-capital income has depreciated.
“Many families are withdrawing their wards from schools over a hike in school fees, while criminal activities are surging daily.
“We think that the Nigerian workers have shown enough patience and understanding.
“We are also using this medium to inform all our members and supporters to stock their homes with their necessary needs ahead of a long-drawn mass action until victory is ascertained. No retreat, no surrender.”