‘Our Labour Unions are Dead’, Nigerians Lament

Trending Cartoon making the rounds on social media

Many Nigerians have reacted to the suspended strike by the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and organised labour. They have expressed disappointment that the NLC bowed to the pressure of the Federal Government instead of standing on the side of the masses who were largely angry and prepared for the strike.

The Labour unions gave the Federal Government a 10 days ultimatum to reverse the prices of fuel and electricity on September 18, 2020. For many Nigerians it was alarming that by Sunday night, few hours to the proposed
strike, the Labor Congress came up to say there was a late evening meeting with the Federal Government and a decision was made to suspend the strike for the next two weeks as the government would see into the increase in the fuel and electricity tariff.

Festus Keyamo’s Tweet

Mr Festus Keyamo, Miniater of Labor and Employment took to tweet after the resolution and commented that the ‘FG & LABOUR reach an agreement at 2:53 am. Deregulation to stay as Govt 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.’

A summary of the demands by Nigeria Labor Congress includes Stoppage of the importation of petrol, making the refineries work, stoppage of deregulation, and by extension stopping the continuous increase in the price of petrol. Others are revert to former electricity tariff, reduce the cost of governance amongst others.

Nigerians were shocked to discover that the National Labour Congress (NLC), had called off the strike after much mobilisation. Many felt this was the appropraite and most defining moment for labour to choose whether it was on the side of the Nigerian masses or were simply after their own interests. They also accused the NLC of not carrying the major stakeholders, the Nigerian people, along before calling of the strike.

Nigerians took to social media to express their total disappointment and loss of confidence in the labour group and the sudden suspension of the strike. The labor congress was condemned as not being sincere and transparent just like the government. The Labor Congress was also compared to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) (the super strikers).

The Comment read,‘Trusting the NLC and TUC with the destinies of Nigerians is just a waste of time, an attempt to siphon money and enrich their pockets. Don’t be deceived, these lawless organizations are there for themselves and their families and not the populace. #NLCStrike’

Another comment reads‘Federal Government takes Labour Union more serious than ASUU… ASUU is like the illegitimate child that was born by a harlot. So much for education is key.’

A similar tweet reads ‘Federal Government call off #NLCStrike but ASUU is still neglected, With this few point of mine I can able to convince you that education is not the key,’

Senator Dekunle also said: ‘I knew Labour will chicken out… I knew they could ND would not stand their ground… The leadership or THE NLC AND TUC are a bunch of shameful and total disgrace… they need to
take tutorials from ASUU officials!!! Two weeks will soon elapse!!!’

While another angry Nigerian citizen said ‘Dear Nigerians, We have no Labour Union they are just a Toothless Bull Dog, why on earth will call off
the strike when none of their terms have been met. Enough of the Mid Night Brown Envelopes
GoFundMe NLC and TUC #NLCStrike Nigerians Dora Congratulations Laycon BBNaijia.’

Peace Omenka

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