TUC backs out of planned protest, accuses NLC president of high-handedness

ABUJA- The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has withdrawn from the planned two-day nationwide protests announced by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over the lingering cost of living crisis and economic hardship in the country.

Tommy Etim, the Vice-President of the TUC, in an interview with ThePunch said the decision to stage nationwide protests on February 27 and 28 was solely NLC’s idea.

The TUC had earlier communicated its grievance over the planned protests to the NLC in a letter dated February 19, 2024, by its Secretary General, Dr Nuhu Toro.

In the letter addressed to the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, the trade union faulted the process the labour congress adopted in fixing the date for the protests.

The TUC argued that the dates for the protests should have been collectively decided since both unions had jointly issued a two-week ultimatum to the government.

According to Etim, after the expiration of the warning, the TUC and the NLC leadership were supposed to come together to review the situation and agree on the way forward, but instead, Ajaero unilaterally declared the dates.

As a result, the TUC leadership decided to back out of the planned demonstration, saying there was no way it could join it.

“We cannot join the protest because the decision was not taken collectively. It is very clear that by virtue of the letter, there is no way we can join the protest,” Etim said.

In the letter sent to the NLC, the TUC argued that decisions of such magnitude should have been made collectively to ensure the interests and perspectives of all parties involved were duly considered.

“This is the way other leaders of both centres have worked together from the time of SECSCAN to when TUC was formally registered,” the union said.

As stated in the letter, this was the third time Ajaero would make such decisions without carrying the trade union leaders along.

“It is important to stress that this is the third time such a unilateral declaration has happened under your leadership; we are therefore constrained to formally put this on record as various discussions, communications, and interventions have failed. A first and second time could pass as human error, but a third time would, in our opinion, translate to an intentional act to undermine us,” the TUC alleged.

Meanwhile, the Department of State Services (DSS) has urged the NLC to shelve its planned protests over the cost of living crisis in the country.

The DSS warned that the demonstration would undoubtedly worsen the socio-economic conditions of the country and lead to a crisis.

It, however, urged the leadership of the NLC to give the government a chance to resolve the issues since they are already making efforts to handle the challenges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *