Labour – Civil Society Front Backs Nationwide Strike and Mass Action declared by Labour and CSOs
……Sets Up Joint Tactical Team To Coordinate Strike and Mass Action Against New Pump Prices of Petrol in Nigeria
……Opens Coordinating Centres in Abuja and 36 States of Nigeria
BEING PRESS STATEMENT OF LABOUR- CIVIL SOCIETY FRONT, LCSF ON THE STRIKE ACTION DECLARED BY LABOUR.. Dated: Sunday, 4th June, 2023
1. The Labour – Civil Society Front, LCSF, an umbrella Coalition of Labour Unions, historical human rights organizations, Civil Society affiliates, faith-based organizations, women-led associations, indigenous bodies and youths movements in Nigeria commends the NLC ,TUC and the Organised Civil Society for rising up in defence of millions of down trodden Nigerians – consisting of working and non-working who are already adversely affected by the 29th May 2023 announcement by President Bola Tinubu that “SUBSIDY IS GONE” and the immediate gestapo inflation of pump price of PMS by NNPC Ltd.
2. The NLC, TUC, CSOs and several other stakeholders are not new to the arguments on whether SUBSIDY SHOULD GO OR STAY and as such, had no difficulty in reaching agreement on the matter at the National Executive Council (NEC) Meeting of Labour on Friday 2nd June, 2023, where it unanimously was resolved that all Nigerian workers should commence strike action from Wednesday 7th 2023. This resolution demonstrates the working people’s disappointment with the outright disregard the new administration has for publicly taken positions, democratic values, sound political judgment, good faith, and inclusive consultation, which could have saved the administration from the reckless posture targeted at hurting the most vulnerable, deprived and impoverished in our society.
3. While it is clear to most Nigerians that the fraud and mismanagement in the Oil and Gas sector has reached unacceptable levels, making SUBSIDY the LONE scapegoat, is totally disingenuous. The announcement by President Tinubu calls for a holistic engagement with different segments of the country and multiple interests within the Oil and Gas sector. The SUBSIDY IS GONE policy should have also been preceded by re-formulating an ALTERNATIVE ECONOMIC PLAN which is sensitive to social investment programs.
4. We, therefore see this government’s latest move as a deliberate attempt to pass the burden of a failed ECONOMY on the price of PMS ONLY without addressing the associated fallouts of such action. In effect, the Presidential fiat portends dangerous dimensions for multidimensional poverty and insecurity.
5. We recall past negotiations for wage increase which have not been fully implemented and even if they had been implemented, it will only impact on about 4million Nigerians in formal employment as the vast majority of Nigerians are working informally and their situation will be unaccounted for by such limited wage negotiations between Labour and government.
6. However, to deepen Labour engagement through effective civil action, a Tactical Coordinating Team of civil society and labour leaders comprising of Comrades Nkoyo Toyo, Salisu Mohammed, Abiodun Aremu, Chris Uyot, Malachy Ugwumadu, Martins Egbanubi, Mo Paul, Hauwa Mustapha, Femi Aborishade, Monday Ubani, Richard Inoyo, Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia, Jnr, Promise Adewusi, and Veteran Olawale Okunniyi has been mandated to work closely with the NLC, TUC and organised civil society to present the issues which have arisen.
7. The Tactical Coordinating Team will also reach out, mobilize and organize collaborative peaceful mass actions across Labour centres and other social movements.
8. Following consultations with stakeholders, Labour Civil Society Front wishes to inform Nigerians that its response is a non-violent intervention to the precipitate imposition of a self serving agenda of the rich and the powerful few associated with government. This Agenda will have several damaging effects on livelihoods of ordinary Nigerians and expose the country to further insecurity. This pronouncement is a provocation targeted at the economy of every household in the country and so cannot be ignored.
9. To this end, the LCSF strongly backs and solidarizes with the positions advanced by the NLC and Strike Action declared on the 2nd of June. It also wishes to remind government that it must take FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS MISMANAGEMENT OF THE SUBSIDY QUESTION without SHIFTING the COST OF SUBSIDY to millions of Nigerians who are trying to eke out a living in these difficult times.
10. We therefore call on all CONCERNED NIGERIANS, allies, affiliates and sympathizers from across Nigeria, to work closely with the NLC, TUC and the Organised Civil Society in the States to prevent Nigerians from sliding into further poverty and destitution.
For: Tactical Coordinating Team, Labour-CSF