Subsidy: We’ll thwart your planned Oct 3 indefinite strike – CSO threatens Labour

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On Thursday a Civil Society Organisation, CSO, operating under the aegis of Civil Society and Workers Dialogue Forum (CSWDF), has expressed its disapproval of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC’s planned indefinite strike scheduled to commence on Tuesday, October 3, 2023.

The organisation described the proposed strike as sabotage and deliberate mischief, saying the union wasn’t sensitive to its part of dialogue with the Federal Government over the fuel subsidy removal impasse.

Reacting to the planned strike in a statement jointly signed and issued by the group’s convener, Abubakar Ibrahim and co-conveners, Bashir Faisal and Rafiu Shaibu, they assured of their support if the two workers’ unions decided to toe the path of nobility.

According to the CSO, the Nigeria Labour Congress fully agreed to the withdrawal of fuel subsidy, which they also earlier advocated for, adding that “having the subsidy that has been draining government for centuries removed, it should be supported by all stakeholders”.

The group, having acknowledged the difficulty faced by Nigerians, explained that the Federal Government has made deft moves in rehabilitating the refineries to reduce the cost of petrol and gas importation.

It added that the recent distribution of palliative to the tune of N5 billion to each of the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT are part of mitigation measures until things normalise as no government anywhere in the world derives pleasure in the suffering of its people.

“The wage increase of workers is being negotiated with NLC constituting membership of the committee, hence, we are appalled at what the proposed strike intended to achieve.

“As opposed to the past, the NLC has always been on the negotiation table before any decision was taken by this administration.

“We recalled that in June this year, the Union was in talks with the FG over fuel subsidy removal without carrying other stakeholders along, which we protested our exclusion.

“Having agreed with President Bola Tinubu’s administration, only for the workers Union to recant and propose an indefinite strike is counter-productive and we will mobilise our members across the 36 States and FCT for anti-NLC protest.

“This statement should serve as official notice to the Director of State Service DSS, IGP and other security agencies, that we are going to mobilise to streets against NLC on 3rd October, 2023,” the CSO stressed.

The group recalled that some states have purchased buses for public transportation and have also added funds to the federal government’s offer to them, insisting that the proposed strike was inappropriate.

It, therefore, called on citizens not to avail themselves to be used against the genuine interest of the government.

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