The leadership of the Labour Party on Wednesday threw its weight behind the planned industrial action of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, saying the presidency has been insensitive to the plight of Nigerian workers.
The development is coming in the wake of organised Labour’s resolve to ground activities nationwide from October 3 following the failure of the government to successfully implement policies to alleviate the sufferings of the masses after the removal of fuel subsidy.
After the 21-day ultimatum given by the NLC lapsed last week, the NLC National President, Joe Ajaero, had lamented that none of the demands put before the Federal Government was addressed.
Among other things, the NLC and the TUC are asking for wage awards, implementation of palliatives, tax exemptions and allowances to public sector workers and a review of the minimum wage.
Reacting to the proposed strike in a statement titled ‘Workers strike: Labour Party identifies with Nigerian workers’ on Wednesday, National Publicity Secretary of LP, Obiora Ifoh, bemoaned that Nigerian workers have shown enough patience and understanding.
While charging supporters of the party to stock up on food, Ifoh warned that the leadership of LP will support any legitimate means to demand better welfare for Nigerian workers.
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.”