United Labour Congress (ULC) comprising workers from critical sectors of the nation’s economy such as oil and gas, electricity, banking and aviation said on Wednesday there was no going back on their proposed nationwide strike as the 21-day ultimatum issued to the Federal Government to meet their demands expires this Friday, September 15, 2017.
The demands include the immediate withdrawal of soldiers from workplaces, setting up of a task to carry out factory inspections, payment of all arrears of salaries owed Nigerian workers at all levels of government, implementation of 2009 agreement with university lecturers and commencement of negotiations with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to end the ongoing strike and reopen the universities.
Others are repair of roads leading to all petroleum refineries and oil depots nation-wide, withdrawal of proposed bill seeking to control free speech ‘under the guise of the ‘bill against hate speech’, issuance of registration certificate of the ULC, inclusion of all representatives of labour in various committees, agencies and directorates of government as against favouring one labour centre, immediate inauguration of the national minimum wage negotiating committee among other demands.
Joe Ajaero, president of ULC who addressed journalists in Lagos restated the readiness to proceed with the strike, saying the congress can only back down if these demands are fully met on or before Friday.
“ULC urges all Nigerians to therefore take precaution and stock up basic necessities as the strike will be very effective as we hope to cripple all modes of transportation within the nation; total black out nation-wide; cut-off petroleum products supplies; disrupt banking operations which will make life a bit more difficult for Nigerians.
We regret these consequences on all of us but we hope that these measures will help us create a nation that is better governed for the benefits of Nigerian workers and Nigerian masses.
This course of action though very painful to us at this time is the only alternative available to us as we have exhausted all known peaceful processes towards an amicable resolution of the dispute. We therefore call on all genuine patriots to join hands in solidarity with us to urge the Federal Government and state governors to be kind enough to meet the demands of Nigerian workers and masses,” Ajaero said after the meeting of the national leadership of the ULC, Wednesday, in Lagos.