NLC threatens to initiate a strike in response to a petroleum price increase

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to launch an unannounced nationwide strike if there is a further increase in the price of petroleum at the pump.

Mr. Joe Ajaero, president of the Nigerian Labour Congress, stated this at the African Alliance of Trade Unions meeting in Abuja on Monday.

Ajaero stated that negotiations with the Federal Government were still ongoing and that measures to mitigate the removal subsidy’s impact had yet to be implemented.

Ajaero, in response to the Registrar of Trade Unions’ advice that unions are responsible for safeguarding the interests of workers and Nigerians, urged the government to alter its anti-poor and anti-worker policies.

According to him, the government must alter its misguided economic policies that have resulted in pitiful wages.

"As we speak, they are considering raising the price of petroleum products at the pump, but Nigerian employees will not issue a strike notice.

“Had we not addressed the consequences of the last two increases in the price of gasoline at the pump, we would have awoken to the news that they had again tampered with the price of gasoline at the pump,” he said.

However, the NLC president urged the Federal Government to ensure that anti-worker policies are not implemented.

If you examine the policies that lead to inflation and currency devaluation, we will be content wherever we are.

“If the Nigerian naira is equal to the U.S. dollar today, we request that the minimum wage remain at N30,000.” If inflation is determined to be zero, we will request that you maintain the status quo.

"However, inflation is soaring, and the National Bureau of Statistics admits that over 133 million Nigerians are multidimensionally impoverished.

"These are the issues I believe the government should resolve. If we implement a wage increase tomorrow, the resulting inflation will ruin the economy, he said.

Regarding the illegality of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) detaining National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) officers.

According to him, “the Nigerian police, the Inspector General, is now performing the duties of the Ministry of Labour.”

"It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Labor to address both inter- and intra-union disputes.

"That is not within the scope of the IG’s authority. I believe that the Ministry of Labor should instruct the police that they do not have the authority to usurp its functions.

“If they do that, the Ministry of Labor will cease to exist, and the Minister of Labor will have no reason to remain in his position,” he added.

He added that it was lawful for the NLC to demand an apology from the IG of police for arresting or even considering arresting the NURTW president on the eve of the union’s election.

He added that it is unprecedented in this country’s history. “This should never again be tolerated,” he said.