Nigerian labour issues a 14-day ultimatum to Tinubu administration to grant workers relief from the impact of fuel subsidy removal.
The unions however stopped short of exposing the next line of action should the ultimatum expire without government action.
NLC and TUC, the umbrella unions, accused the government of refusing to implement a 16-point agreement to assist Nigerians to cope.
The unions explained in a statement that the agreement focused on addressing the massive suffering and general harsh economic consequences of the government’s “ill-conceived and ill-executed … hike in the price of PMS and the devaluation of the Naira.”
The labour ultimatum starts counting from today, 9 February, according to a joint statement by NLC President Joe Ajaero and his TUC counterpart, Festus Usifo.
The duo accused the Tinubu administration of disregarding “the principles of good faith, welfare and workers rights” by refusing to implement the agreement.
The dual policies, it said, put the Nigerian workers in dire straits.
“Widespread Hunger is now ravishing millions of Nigerians, with the workers’ purchasing power significantly eroded, while insecurity has assumed an increasing dimension.
“Nigerians are left wondering where their next meals will come from and what tomorrow might bring. The level of panic and anxiety amongst the populace has become nightmarish. “Unfortunately, in the midst of all these, it appears our government is bereft of appropriate measures to ameliorate the huge burden it has foisted on the citizenry.
The unions wondered why the government failed to honour the agreements which they consider essential to the wellbeing of Nigerian people and workers. Among the items they listed were
- wage awards,
- palliative adjustments,
- improved access to public utilities,
- meddlesomeness in the internal affairs of road transport workers and employees
The unions regretted government’s “failure to uphold its end of the bargain” describing it as “unacceptable to the Working people and the citizenry,”
NLC and TUC therefore issued “a stern ultimatum” to honour their part of the understanding starting today 9 February 2024.
“…Everything must be done within the two weeks to avoid a situation where we may be compelled to take appropriate steps to protect Nigerian workers and masses,” they said.
Labour said it would no longer accept “empty promises and excuses.”
“Our patience has worn thin and the situation has become unbearable for workers and masses all over the federation. Further silence amounts to committing mass suicide and this remains the only feasible course of action left for us and Nigerians to compel remedial action by the government.
“We are committed to this resolve towards salvaging Nigerian workers and masses from the apparent insensitivity and lethargy of those in the corridors of power who are supposed to be the bastion of public trust.”