• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

Strike: NLC raises alarm over deployment of soldiers to institutions

Military rescues 251 hostages, foils N765m oil theft

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday raised alarm over ongoing deployment of Soldiers to installations, describing it as against democratic tenets.

This is as George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, also met with leadership of the NLC on Monday.

Read also; NLC Strike: Union locks out FCTA Staff, urges them to stay at home

Joe Ajaero, President of the NLC, in a statement, warned however that “ Nigerian workers will not be intimidated by the management of any organization or government entity over our rightful decision to withdraw services through the indefinite nationwide strike that commenced earlier this morning”

Ajaero speaking specifically about the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), accused the organisation of “spreading outright falsehood to mislead the public instead of working with other stakeholders to resolve the issues raised by Nigerian workers via the NLC and TUC.”

Ajaero said the deployment of the military “ will rather inflame the anger of the suffering masses who are already burdened by the cruel policies of the federal government”.

“It is important that we therefore address the Press statement by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) where they made false claims regarding the indefinite nationwide strike declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The NLC President called on the TCN to understand that the company is not the only company impacted by the massive withdrawal of service across the nation by Nigerian workers.

“ It should therefore not make it a TCN affair as other organisations also suffer one breakdown in service or the other as a result of the nationwide industrial action.

Ajaero recalled that the NLC had demanded a completion of the Wage setting process and a reversal of the hike in electricity tariff back to N66/kwh, since May 1st, 2024, without any positive response from the government.

“Unfortunately, the TCN was not responsive enough and could therefore not take adequate steps to assist government avert the indefinite nationwide strike. Perhaps, TCN is not deeply worried about the plight of Nigerian workers who suffer in penury as a result of their poor pay thus decided not to take any positive action. In any case, we are crying because government policies have impoverished us and made living exceedingly difficult.

The NLC President denied attacks on TCN facilities, adding that “ it is not true that anybody was manhandled by us in any TCN location. May be, TCN in its effort to scuttle the strike tried to force workers to be at work not realizing the resolve of all workers to stay away.
“Why would the grid not go down when the workers who operate them decide to withdraw their service? That is how it works and it further demonstrates that without workers, no wheel can turn; no work can take place any where.

He noted that Nigerian workers led by the NLC and TUC has exercised due caution and unusual patience in our engagement with our social partners and this restraint has been grossly abused unfortunately which has led us to the present impasse.

“Trying to buck pass instead of accepting blame and taking necessary steps to put its house in order will not allow the transmission company of Nigeria (TCN) make discernible progress. We would like the Organisation to take adequate measures to ensure that it discharges its responsibilities to Nigerians especially the Electricity sector instead of dissipating its energy on trying to insult Nigerian workers by its deliberate peddling of falsehood.
“ We have been duly informed that the TCN management has resorted to the use of the military in its effort at intimidating and harassing workers in its employ who are carrying out their lawful and democratic duties at various TCN plants around Nigeria.

“We warn that the Management of TCN would be held liable for any injury inflicted on any worker by their resort to the use of the powers of the military. It is also important that we inform TCN that deploying military men to its locations is a clear abuse and insult on the military especially in a democracy.

“We are sure that members of the military so misused by this deployment are not happy with the management and the authorities who have authorised the deployment.

He assured that NLC and TUC remains steadfast in its commitment to the emancipation of downtrodden Nigerians and will persist in the struggle for a fair and just living wage, as well as the reversal of the excessive electricity tariff hike.

“We call on all Nigerians to stand in solidarity with us as we demand the implementation of policies that prioritize the well- being of the people. We will not back down and we will not give in to any blackmail, intimidation or harassment.