Organised Labour under the umbrella of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), yesterday, gave the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum to reverse the hike in prices of electricity, petrol and all other social services.
This is even as it mandated the government to provide adequate and quality healthcare and education for all to save the poor and the vulnerable.
In a letter to President Muhammad Buhari on Monday, September 14, titled: “We cannot bear the burden any longer, issuance of seven days ultimatum,” TUC warned that failure to comply would leave the labour centre with no other option than to commence an indefinite industrial action and national protest from Wednesday, September 23.
The letter jointly signed by President of TUC, Quadri Olaleye and Secretary General, Musa Lawal Ozigi, said the decision was taken at the just concluded meeting of its organs, adding that the demands were made in good faith, and to save the dying masses and the vulnerable in the society.
“In the event of not showing empathy for this class of people by adhering to above demands, we shall, together with our civil societies and allies, sympathetic to the suffering masses of our people commence an indefinite industrial action and national protest from Wednesday 23rd September 2020.”
The TUC said it had observed the gradual and steady annihilation of Nigeria and Nigerians in the light of government’s actions for the umpteenth time.
It said some of the issues that have become worrisome to the working class, their families and the masses included the sudden increase in pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petroleum, without any definitive and concrete efforts to make the nation’s refineries functional, which it stated has a devastating multiplier effect on the working people and their families.
The congress also listed the increase in electricity tariff, stating it was done without proper consultation and consideration of the effect of COVID-19, commensurate electricity supply, non-provision of prepaid meters and other biting economic realities.
Others include non-implementation of the negotiated national minimum wage by most of the states and federal governments’ inability to create and sustain salary date and calendar to ensure transparency, corruption in government agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health over failure to explain and lack of transparency on how funds received in the fight against COVID-19 was spent among others.
The labour centre said there had been loss of jobs across industries, high cost of living and businesses not moving in the light of the effects of COVID-19. It also lamented the palliative that never got to those that needed them.