The failure of the Organized Labour to engage the Federal Government over the incessant increase in the electricity tariff and the petrol pump price has generated a lot of controversies and public reactions as Nigerians seems to have completely lost all trust in the leadership of the body.
But contrary to widespread beliefs, the Enugu State chairman of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Igbokwe Chukwuma Igbokwe, during a conversation with newsmen over the weekend, has declared that labour is actually committed to its course concerning the burning issues and is not keeping quiet as speculated.
He stated that labour was following due process over the recent electricity tariff increase and will eventually arrive at a strike action.
He said, “Before we go on strike, there are things we need to put into consideration before a strike takes place,” He disagreed with the “wrong impression” that the leaders of the organized labour have turned pipers who only plays according to the dictates of the government. He stated that the initially planned strike action was not cancelled but suspended to allow for improved consultations.
Igbokwe said, “We are not keeping quiet because you know labour provides leadership. In this kind of struggle, labour cannot keep quiet. We follow some processes before it can now translate to strike because the strike is not an easy thing”.
It would be recalled the organized labour which includes the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) amongst others, signalled the possibility of igniting the industrial action clause against the Federal Government of Nigeria should they persist in their quest to further increase the fuel pump price and the electricity tariff, but the organized labour was met with serious criticism from Nigerians after the government, in total defiance, went ahead to trigger the price changes.
“There was a joint meeting with labour and the government and some recommendations were made but we are surprised that the tariff has jumped back to the suspended tariff and just last week, we are seeing a slight increase in petrol pump price. Igbokwe said.
The TUC chairman state chairman lamented the increases stating it was coming at a very delicate moment in the history of the country especially after the #EndSars nationwide protests. He said Nigerians are crying over the situation and the labour bodies will have no choice but to resume talks with the federal government after the result of which will determine if a strike action would be initiated or not.
He said, “It is unfortunate that the government is sneaking in this type of thing at this point when the government should be sympathizing with the masses and creating palliatives on how to address all the openings created by these developments. We are surprised that this type of thing is coming now that we are approaching the festive periods,”
“I want you to know that the strike action was suspended but not cancelled. That is the position.” Igbokwe declared.