NLC Strike: Our Group Is Not Being Used – Ajaero

AJaero, NLC StrikeThe factional leader of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Joe Ajaero, has dismissed the allegation that his faction of the union is being used to divide the NLC in order for government to have its way on the new petrol pump price.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday, Mr Ajaero critized the manner in which the Waba-led faction of the NLC has gone about the dialogue with the federal government over the issue.

He condemned the Waba group for making decisions affecting affiliate unions without consulting the leadership of those unions.

He added that the petroleum workers belong to his group of the NLC and were key players in the issue being debated, and would not have their interests misrepresented.

He admitted that the increase in petrol price was high at 145 Naira but there were different schools of thought, which includes the demand for palliatives, while some felt the President by his credibility deserved some trust.

 

Divided House

Mr Ajaero affirmed that the two factions of the NLC have been in existence since the 2015 election of the Nigeria Labour Congress. Although there have been efforts to reconcile them but these have not been successful.

He said that the decision of the government to negotiate with both factions of the union must have been because the issues at stake required that all stakeholders be involved.

He explained further, “The federal government realised that the issue at stake was petroleum and NUPENG made it clear that the other group cannot represent their interest, this is the NLC they belong to and they sent the invitation across.

“We got there in the spirit of joint leadership and the other group said they were not going to talk. I think we were the ones who carried ourselves to the federal government to show our division.

“Ordinarily if we had a unified position and carried it to the federal government, they would stand by it.”

Strike Will Expand As It Progresses, NLC Confident

NLC, Strike, Amechi AsugwuniThe leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) are confident that their nationwide indefinite strike to protest fuel price hike announced by the Federal Government would achieve its purpose.

“The strike commenced this morning as I speak to you and as we progress on the indefinite strike, it will expand itself,” Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Amechi Asugwuni, said on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily.

Talks between the federal government and the Ayuba Wabba-led Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had ended in a deadlock on Tuesday evening.

The NLC delegation to the meeting, led by its President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, walked out of the negotiation following the inability of the two parties to reach an agreement and thereafter told journalists that the strike would hold on Wednesday as planned.

This was after the National Industrial Court had restrained the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) from going on its planned strike, pending the hearing and determination of a suit brought before it by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami.

Mr Asugwuni, however, said that the NLC was unaware of any court order stopping it from embarking on strike.

He maintained that as far as they were concerned, the NLC had no case with the Federal Government at the Industrial Court and there has been no summon to the contrary.

Mr Asugwuni said that if there was anything of such, it would be communicated with due process followed and not based on newspaper headlines or an interview granted the media.

“If at all the AGF got the injunction as claimed, the truth of the matter is that it is total disrespect for dialogue.

“That is to tell you that even while they were with labour on the table, they had already started the court processes against our interest. So they were not sincere from the beginning,” he said.

He insisted that labour’s insistent on proceeding with the strike was in the interest of the people.

NLC Is One

Mr Asugwuni also argued that the Wabba-led faction of the NLC remains the legitimate NLC that should be recognised by the government and citizens.

“NLC is one in Nigeria. So when I see people talk about faction, they are trying to play down on Nigeria’s constitution.

“Looking at the Federal Government through the comrade governor, Adams Oshiomhole, giving recognition to an impersonator also looks criminal. As far as we are concerned, it must be discouraged.

He also questioned the credibility of the position held by the Ajaero-led faction of the NLC.

“I watched Ajaero talk and you can see his posture. It was a stage-managed interview trying to divide the opinion of people but they can’t stand.

“Nigerian Labour Congress is one and we have one office, one President who is Comrade Ayuba Wabba, and who is right there in his office.

“The just concluded May Day, the federal government was represented and they were there. So how can they turn back now? Because you want to divide the house, you start recognizing people you already know are neither here nor there.”

NLC Says 60,000 Nigerian Workers Lost Jobs

Amechi-AsugwuniThe Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) says about 60,000 Nigerians in the engineering and construction sector are now out of jobs, as they claim that infrastructural development has been put on hold by the government.

At a press briefing in Lagos on Tuesday by the NLC’s affiliate union, National Union of Civil Engineering and Construction Workers, the President asked the Federal Government to channel the same effort in fighting corruption on infrastructural development to create jobs for the teeming unemployed population.

Mr Amechi Asugwuni said it was not certain how many projects had been abandoned.

“It has become critical and we are still lacking answers because we have not seen the plan for infrastructure. Fight against corruption is like fight against indiscipline, which must continue side-by-side with development.

“We believe that Mr President should as a matter of fact reactivate all the ongoing projects across the nation. The reactivation is to reactivate the employment of Nigerians,” Mr Asugwuni said.

He asked the government to constitute a committee to monitor projects and contracts and entrench labour friendly policies.