It is no more news that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), suspended its scheduled nationwide protest fixed to take off this Monday, 28th of September 2020. The news now is what went down during the meeting between the Federal government and the Organised labour that brought about the suspension of the planned strike action.
Majority of Nigerian have accused the Organised labour of selling out without considering the suffering of the masses.
Recall that the Federal Government recently increased the Electricity tariffs and the fuel pump price. Nigerians condemned the act, accusing the government of being insensitive considering the fact that the country had just come out of a COVID-19 lockdown.
There were calls by the organised labour to get the Government to reverse its decision. But after initial meetings failed, the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC, fixed Monday for the commencement of industrial action despite a court order by Buhari’s administration restraining the NLC and TUC from going ahead with the action.
However, on Monday morning, Nigerians woke up to news of the suspension of the protest and industrial action by the organised labour.
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, announced the suspension in a statement released at 2:55 am via his Twitter page on Monday.
He stated on his verified Twitter handle(@fkeyamo): “Still negotiating with labour at exactly 12.34 am. Some progress has been made. Concrete proposals on the table from both sides.
But Keyamo later said the unions agreed to call off the strike after the federal government also agreed to suspend the electricity tariff hike for two weeks.
He said, “the federal government and labour reach agreement at 2:53 am. Deregulation to stay as government rolls out palliatives for labour (details in 2 weeks); Electricity tariffs suspended by govt for 2 weeks with a joint committee headed by @fkeyamo to examine the justification for the new policy. Strike suspended.
However, fresh facts at the disposal of SaharaReporters indicate that leaders of the NLC may have sold out and struck a deal with the government that offered no benefit for the people.
According to top insiders, none of the demands tabled by labour was met by the Nigerian Government yet the NLC leaders went ahead to call off the planned strike action.
The move has raised suspicion of something changing hands and the sincerity of labour leaders to Nigerian workers and citizens in general, who look up to them to hold the government to account.
“None of their requests were met. This is an endorsement of petrol price increase for now and future rather than a pushback.
“The leadership of TUC was isolated at the last minute to achieve their dastardly act. Affiliate unions never trusted the NLC leadership and that was why they issued individual circulars. The leadership of NLC never mobilised units and affiliates even though they claimed there would be a strike. There were lots of underhand dealings between NLC leaders and governors who helped facilitate settlements. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, too was involved.
“There wasn’t supposed to be a meeting between labour leaders and the Federal Government until 3:00 pm on Monday but NLC leaders suddenly agreed to a series of meetings with the government on Sunday to kill the strike,” one source told SaharaReporters.
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