Fuel, electricity tariff hike: Labour unions insist on national strike Sept 23

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has reiterated its resolve to embark on nationwide protest slated for Wednesday, September 23 if the Federal Government failed to reverse the hike in electricity bill and Premium Motor Spirit (fuel) and other decisions and policies “sinister to Nigerians.”

In a statement delivered by the Secretary of the Union, Lagos Council, Abiodun Aladetan, the union notified all members of state Administrative Committee and State Executive Committee to mobilise members and act accordingly.

Aladetan said survival of every worker was significantly dependent on the proposed mass industrial action. He noted that nothing would stop them from fighting against anti -people policies in the country.

“This is to inform all members of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Lagos State Council that in line with the nationwide protest and industrial action declared by the national leadership of TUC after the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government calling for the reversal in the prices of PMS and electricity tariff, all members and affiliates of TUC should, therefore, commence mobilisation in earnest towards ensuring the success of the protest.

“Our survival as workers and Nigerians is heavily dependent on the success of this protest because the gains of the last minimum wage has been eroded. A people united can never be defeated. Solidarity…Forever.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has appealed to the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to suspend its nationwide strike, saying it has cost human lives.

“Let me once again send a strong appeal to all health workers particularly, JOHESU members, that the nation can ill-afford any further disruption to its health systems.

“The ongoing strike has been very costly in terms of human lives but such losses can be avoided. Government shall continue to do its best to push through the negotiations with the unions and hopefully, reason shall prevail.”

However, he declared that the country’s national response, the use of science, data and experience from other countries, the curve of COVID-19 pandemic was flattening.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, stated this at the briefing in Abuja, yesterday. This is even as the task force marks six months of the country’s national response from March 17 since the PTF was inaugurated.

According to Mustapha, with the world cases now at 30,026,460, Africa with cumulatively 1,380,223 cases, Nigeria with 56,604 cases, and with India crossing the five million cases mark as at yesterday, the numbers are reminders that the country’s national response needs to remain top notch, build stronger and more unified global collaborative efforts to overcome the virus.

The SGF said: “Looking back at our National Response, using science, data and experience from other countries, we cannot but say that tremendous progress has been made and that we are beginning to notice that the curve is flattening. However, as we have always stated, this positive development shall be taken with vigilance and cautious optimism. This is based on the fact that we are convinced that we have not tested enough, we have only recently reopened our international flights and that nations that had opened up their economies have done a re-think following the resurgence of the cases in their countries.”

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