The NLC and TUC have been accused of betraying the Nigerian masses over its decision to suspend the nationwide strike action.
NLC and TUC
Some workers, students, traders and concerned residents came out on Monday to stage a protest against the hike in the pump price of petrol and other policies of the Federal Government.
This comes after the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress suspended the proposed strike action.
According to Punch, the workers, who gathered at the Agodi Gate area, were led by a human rights activist, Femi Aborisade, who is the Vice Chairman of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond; the National Coordinator of All Workers’ Convergence, Andrew Emelieze, and other unionists.
The protesters, who were armed with placards condemning the Federal Government and its policies, said Nigerians had been further impoverished by the recent hike in the electricity tariff and petrol pump price.
They said corruption by government officials, among others, had made life unbearable for the masses while criticising lack of adequate funding for the education and health sectors.
Aborisade said ASCAB was against the agreement between the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and the Federal Government, saying labour leaders ought to have briefed workers before taking the decision.
Emelieze, who is a past Chairman of the TUC, described the leaders of the body and the NLC at the national level as traitors.
He said, “Although the NLC and the TUC suspended their strike action, we, in the ASCAB, AWC, NANS, Joint Action Front, artisans, traders and others decided to stage a protest against how the Federal Government is treating Nigerians. We also condemn the national NLC and TUC for betraying Nigerians at the last minute.”
A civil rights movement, the Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education, on Monday, described as betrayal the decision by organised labour to suspend its planned strike over deregulation and increase in electricity tariff.
The organisation said while it was not advocating a strike action for the fun of it, “we make no mistake about the fact that the Nigerian people need to send a strong message to the government that its strangulating policies are unacceptable.”
The Executive Director of CHRICED, Dr Ibrahim Zikirullahi, in a statement titled, ‘Capitulation by Labour: A clarion call for citizens to directly resist harsh policies’, said it had “carefully studied the excuses given by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria to shelve the general strike and protests, which had been slated to begin on Monday.