NLC/TUC strike, not in national interest – Presidency

NLC/TUC strike, not in national interest – Presidency

The presidency has described the strike being pursued by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), as not in national interest.

Bayo Onanuga, the special adviser to the President on information and strategy, in a statement on Monday night, said the Presidency is dismayed that members of the organised labour called on workers to commence a strike action from midnight, despite a restraining order issued last week by Justice Benedict Backwash Kanyip of the National Industrial Court.

He noted that the decision by the NLC and TUC other than being an ego tripping move, is clearly unwarranted.


Says 200 million should not suffer over selfish interest

“It is an attempt to blackmail the government by the leadership of the NLC,” Odunuga said.

“We are still at a loss as to why the NLC and TUC decided to punish a whole country of over 200 million people over a personal matter involving the NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, whose error of judgment led to assault on him in Owerri while he was planning to incite the workers in Imo State into a needless strike.”

He noted that while the government does not condone any form of violence and assault on any citizen of Nigeria regardless of his or her social and economic status, it is on record that the Inspector General of Police has ordered investigation into what happened to Joe Ajaero while the Commissioner of Police in Imo State under whose watch the incident happened has been transferred out of the state.

Onanuga, therefore, said calling out workers on a national strike over a personal issue of a labour leader despite a clear court order against any industrial action amounts to an abuse of privilege.

“Power at any level should never be used to settle personal scores. Rather, it should be used to promote collective progress and advance national interest,” he said.

He stated that the national economy and social activities should not suffer because of the personal interest of any labour leader.

“This flagrant disobedience to court order and lack of respect for the judiciary should not be what the organised labour would champion,” he said in the statement.

“The labour movement has always been a champion of rule of law and respect for the judiciary. It is a sad irony that the current labour leaders have shown disdain and utter disregard for court order.”

He described the strike action as illegal, immoral, unjustifiable and irresponsible.

“What the strike notice issued Monday night after official hours suggests is it’s designed for a sinister and hidden agenda to cause undue hardship and cause civil disturbance in our country. This is unacceptable,” Odunuga said.


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