Labour Minister, Chris Ngige Condemns NLC Strike

Chris Ngige, Labour Minister, NLC StrikeNigeria’s Labour Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige, says that those who are on strike following the increase in petroleum pump price are at the risk of facing a fine of 100,000 Naira or six months in jail as prescribed by  Section 40 of the Labour laws.

He said this while answering questions from journalists at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister wondered why the NLC did not abide by the constitutional provision of serving on government the initial 15 days’ notice before calling out the strike.

He said that but for the human face of the change administration those embarking on strike were taking a risk.

Also speaking, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Mallami, said that the federal government went to court to stop the NLC from going on strike to prevent what he called a possible breakdown of law and order and hardship on the generality of Nigerians.

According to them, it has become unconstitutional for Labour to call for a strike in the event of breakdown of negotiations and reconciliation process.

Dr. Ngige said that government engaged all the factions of the labour union as a show of concern to all the citizens of the country and because government wants peace.

NLC Strike: Normal Business Activities Witnessed In Kano, Rivers

NLC strike, Kano, Rivers, NLCWorkers in the commercial city of Kano have defied the directive of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) by opening their offices and businesses.

At the Audu Bako Secretariat all offices were opened for work with market places booming with normal activities.

From Government ministries, to private establishments and market places, residents turned out in large numbers for their daily activities, practically boycotting NLC’s strike directive.

Motor parks and all filling stations in Kano also opened for business and schools also opened.

Our correspondent reports that the Kano State Police Command has also deployed unarmed officers to protect the lives and property of the citizens

Hundreds of policemen were deployed to all the exit and entry points of Kano State.

Although members of the Nigeria Labour Congress were nowhere to be found, unarmed policemen were also seen at the premises of Labour House in Kano.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police has said that so far there has been no report of any protest in Kano and that the deployment was to protect the lives and property of Nigerians resident in Kano.

Kano has remained peaceful with activities going on in a conducive atmosphere.

Life also appeared normal in Rivers State despite the strike called by a faction of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

Schools, hospitals, banks and many of the places visited showed no sign of the strike as many of the civil servants in the state secretariat turned up for work.

Some workers who spoke behind camera said that there was no clear cut order to embark on a strike that may jeopardise their pay.

The TUC Chairman in the state, Chika Onuegbu, told Channels Television that the strike in the state was a failed project.

Oyo Govt. To Pay Salaries With Federal Allocation

Oyo LabourOyo State government and the labour union have reached a mutually acceptable agreement over unpaid salaries of workers.

Both parties arrived at a satisfactory decision after three days of meetings and consultations between various arms of government and Labour.

The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Oyo State chapter, Waheed Olojede, made the disclosure after the meeting.

Mr Olojede said that the government has agreed that all its Federal Allocation would hereafter be devoted to payment of workers’ salaries.

Regretting the information gap that led to the seven-day ultimatum issued by labour, he hinted that the meeting resolved that a joint revenue mobilisation committee of labour and government would begin to drive, monitor and share any increase in Oyo State’s Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) between workers and government.

The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, had earlier described the ultimatum as illegal and that any strike would be met with a stiff penalty of ‘no work no pay’, insisting that Labour was aware of the fact on ground.

He had also secured a two-year suspension for debt relief in order to jack up Federal Allocation to the state, maintaining that workers should re-commit to devising ways of not just improving IGR but doing so significantly and consistently.

Pay Salaries Or Resign, Aremu Tells Governors

NLC-Issa-aremuFormer Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu, has asked state governors that are unable to pay their workers’ salaries to immediately resign from office.

He added that any governor who could not pay workers their monthly salary as and when due had no moral right to remain in office.

Genocide And Deliberate

Aremu, while speaking with journalists, wondered how and why state governors could not learn from President Muhammadu Buhari, who had been blocking loopholes and fighting corruption.

He described the non-payment of salaries as genocide and deliberate strangulation of the working people through a denial of wage income that had led to the deaths of many workers.

NLC Moves To Resolves Leadership Crisis

PlateauThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says the crisis rocking the leadership of the congress has finally come to an end.

This was announced in Abuja by a former president of the congress and the Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole.

He said both factions have agreed to work together while a committee of 7 officials has been created to ensure that the nlc is run on the basis of inclusion.

In the meantime, the National Deputy President of the NLC, Achese Igwe, has dismissed reports that Comrade Ayuba Waba has been confirmed as the President of the NLC after the reconciliation meeting held in Abuja.

He said at no time did the two faction agree to make Comrade Waba as the consensus president.

A statement signed by Comrade Igwe says the resolution reached at that meeting says seven, three from each group should formulate modality to run a unity congress that would be all inclusive.

The NLC has been factionalised since May 14, 2015 as a fallout of the 13th Delegates Conference of the Congress, which led to the emergence of Ayuba Wabba as the President of the congress.

NLC Frowns Against Proposed Ministry Merger

NLCThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has condemned the proposal for the merger of ministries and parastatals of government as a way of cutting cost of governance.

The President of the Workers Union, Mr Ayuba Waba told journalists at a press conference in Abuja that the union will resist any move by government to merge ministries if the action will lead to loss of jobs.

According to him, such decision would be counterproductive to the ideology of job creation that the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) sold to the electorates during the campaigns.

Already the Chief Executives of five states; Kano, Benue, Kaduna, Yobe and Oyo, have pruned the number of operating ministries they intend to run their administrations with.

Osun NLC Suspends Strike Again, Recalls Workers

osun workers strike-nlcThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Osun State has again suspended its ongoing eight weeks industrial action, with a call on Workers to resume work immediately.

The workers union ended the strike after it singed another Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) with the State government at the Governors Office in Abere, Osun State.

The Chairman of the NLC in Osun State, Jacob Adekomi, explained that the agreement contained a promise to pay workers the salary for February 2015, with effect from August 3, while the balance of the fraction payment made to level eight and above would be returned.

Adekomi said that the decision to suspend the industrial action was in the interest of the state workforce and the State government, believing that the government would live up to its part of the agreement.

While directing all the workers to resume with immediate effect, the NLC Chairman maintained that the state government had renewed its commitment to full employment ‎and not retrenchment of its workforce.

The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, said that the government had never reneged on its agreement. He also explained that the industrial action was due to shortfall in the Federal Allocation which was not peculiar to the state alone.

Last week, the Labour Leaders resolved to continue with the strike until the State government fulfilled its part of the agreement contained in the MoU.

However, the Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Bayo Adejumo, maintained that workers would not return to work until the full payment of January and February salary was implemented.

NLC Reconciliation Move Suffers Setback

NLCEfforts to reconcile the two leadership factions of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have suffered a setback as the faction led by Comrade Joe Ajaero accused Adams Oshiomole of playing a divisive role in the process of reconciling the two parties.

The reconciliation committee was led by Comrade Hassan Sumonu and other labour veterans to address the disagreements between the two factions of Comrades Ayuba Waba and Joe Ajaero after the eleventh delegate congress declared Mr Waba as new NLC President.

This reconciliation move however suffered some setbacks on Tuesday, April 21, as members blamed Governor Adams Oshiomole of alleged partisanship.

The election of a new national executive of the NLC ended in chaos in Abuja on February 12.

Aggrieved delegates were caught on camera smashing and emptying ballot boxes with ballot papers flying on the floor of the International Conference Centre.

The workers alleged that the ballot papers were designed to favour one of the candidates vying for the President of the union.

Over 3,000 delegates voted as the General Secretary of National Union of Electricity Employees, Joe Ajaero and the President of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Wabba Ayuba, presented themselves for election to replace Adbulwaheed Omar.

The President of NUPENG, Igwe Achese, had withdrawn from the race for Ajaero.

The NLC was formed by Nigerian workers in 1978 and has successfully conducted 10 delegates’ conferences.

NLC Urges Former Heads Of State To Back FG’s Fight Against Boko Haram

Issa-AremuThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on past military Heads of State in the country to team up with the Federal Government in finding a lasting solution to the current Boko Haram insurgency in the north east which has claimed innocent lives and property worth billions.

In a statement issued by its Vice President, Issa Aremu on Tuesday, the union condemned the last Friday bomb attack at the Kano Central Mosque which left over 150 worshipers dead and many injured, describing it as inhumane.

While it expressed fear that the serial bombings in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States are getting too much for a country that has not been officially said to be at war, the union also lamented the frightening casualties including Nigerian soldiers and police, who are meant to protect the citizens, adding that the current state of insecurity, if not curtailed will further worsen existing low productivity and cripple economic activities across the nation.

With over 5,000 people already killed in Nigeria’s insurgency serial attacks, the union called on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately address the citizens on the state of the nation and also called on the nation’s security forces to also make a change in their strategy and methodology to these wars of attrition.

The NLC further called on those saddled with the responsibility of protecting the lives of the citizenry to live up to the expectation of their respective oaths of office and ensure inclusive security of all Nigerians, just as they secure political rallies and cultural carnivals.

NLC Commends FG for Victory Over Ebola

Issa-AremuThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed delight with the cheering news of Nigeria being declared free of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In a statement issued in Kaduna on Monday, Vice President of the Union, Issa Aremu said the Nigeria’s victory against Ebola is a sign of good governance which must be sustained, and also urged the Federal, state and local governments to use the same zeal in the fight against Malaria and other killer diseases that are ravaging the country.

The NLC vice president commended the efforts and measures taken by the Federal and State Governments, particularly the Lagos State government and all stakeholders, to curb the spread of the disease in Nigeria.

“It is a mark of good governance that Nigeria applied a bi-partisan national approach to curb and curtail an epidemic of a disease without a cure and record a globally acclaimed achievement. We must apply same approach to eradicate polio, malaria and cholera”, the Unionist said.

As the country celebrates the feat, Aremu cautioned of any form of complacency by both the government and the citizenry, tasking relevant government agencies to remain on duty to guard against any new infection in Nigeria.

This, he said would be sustained, if government will strengthen the public healthcare system, motivate health workers and continue compulsory screening on the nation’s boarders, airports, seaports and ensure the use of hand sanitizers at all times.

The NLC Vice President further noted that Nigeria’s victory cannot be sustained if the Ebola disease continues to ravage other West African countries like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

He therefore urged the Nigerian government to give necessary support to the neighbouring West African countries being ravaged by the Ebola disease.

NLC Condemns Abuja Bomb Blast

download (1)The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has condemned the Wednesday bomb blast at Emab plaza in the heart of Abuja which left 24 persons dead and several others injured, calling it a “desperate act by evil-minded persons to kill the robust Nigerian spirit by instilling fear in the citizenry”.

A statement signed by the Acting General Secretary of the Congress, Mister Chris Uyot says the bomb blast is a cowardly act which must be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians.

The statement adds that the “perpetrators of the blast are wicked souls and a tiny minority do not represent the Nigerian spirit”.

The congress therefore called for the judicious use of the resources allocated for fighting terror just as it advised Nigerians to be more vigilant by a way of taking basic deterrent measures capable of delaying or preventing terrorists from striking at will.

The congress further advised security agents especially the ones at road check points to resist the temptation of creating vulnerable situations for terrorists to strike by speedily screening vehicles in order to avoid build-ups.

Police Disrupt #BringBackOurGirls Protest In Kaduna

kaduna protestThe Kaduna State Police Command on Thursday disrupted a peaceful protest organised by Women Arise for Change Initiative, led by a civil rights activist, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin.

The rally was organised in conjunction with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to demand for the unconditional release of the 200 abducted girls of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state.

However, the protest earlier scheduled to take off from the Murtala Mohammed Square to the state House of Assembly, was interrupted by heavily armed Policemen numbering over 200, led by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Umar Shehu.

All efforts by the NLC Vice President, Isa Aremu, to convince the Police to allow the protest go on in line with the constitutional provision of freedom of association and expression was resisted by the Police who said the decision (to stop the rally) was based on an existing order banning public protests and rallies as well as the security challenge in the state.

The commissioner allayed fear of the protest being hijacked by hoodlums which may lead to breach of the relative peace being enjoyed in the state.

While addressing the protesters within the Murtala Square, Dr. Odumakin insisted that the federal government should on no ground exchange the abducted girls for Boko Haram prisoners.

She expressed disappointment that the wicked act took place despite the declaration of state of emergency in Borno state, without the interruption of the nation’s security forces

She called on the federal government to rescue the girls and also make adequate efforts to compensate them and their families for the emotional trauma the incident has caused them and the nation.