THE Labour Party leadership has stated today that it is in support of the planned strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress while noting that the presidency was being insensitive to the situation of Nigerian workers.
The development follows organized Labour’s decision to halt activities nationwide on October 3 following the government’s failure to successfully implement plans to alleviate the suffering of the masses as a result of the removal of fuel subsidies.
After the NLC’s 21-day ultimatum expired last week, NLC National President Joe Ajaero lamented that none of the requests presented to the Federal Government had been met.
The NLC and TUC are asking for salary increases, palliative care, tax breaks and allowances for public sector workers, and a reassessment of the minimum wage, among other things.
In a statement headed ‘Workers strike: Labour Party connects with Nigerian workers’ on Wednesday, LP National Publicity Secretary Obiora Ifoh complained that Nigerian workers had showed insufficient tolerance and empathy.
While urging supporters to stock up on food, Ifoh cautioned that the leadership of the LP will support any legitimate means of demanding improved working conditions for Nigerians.
He said, “We have followed with keen interest, in the last four months, various meetings between Organised Labour and various government bodies including the president of the Senate, the presidency and the ministers of Labour as well as all the efforts made by the Labour leadership to get the government to understand the magnitude of sufferings its policies have thrown Nigerian workers into since the enthronement of this administration.
“We are not in any way surprised at the government’s apparent indifference, insensitivity, intransigence, and recalcitrant posture towards the genuine demands of the Labour bodies because their usurpation of power was not sanctioned by both the workers and generality of Nigerians.
“Nigerians went to the polls with clear conviction of the government they wanted but this was denied them through institutional conspiracy. Today, Nigerian workers are being punished for taking a stand during the February 25 Presidential Election. Labour Party is also aware of the sordid conditions which workers, the majority of them being our members, are subjected to, where many go to the office on a Monday and are forced by the prevailing economic challenges to sleep in their offices all through to Friday before returning home.
“We are also using this medium to inform all our members and supporters to stock their homes with their necessary needs ahead of a long-drawn mass action until victory is ascertained. No retreat, no surrender.”