Labour union demonstrates in Osun capital

Yinka Salaam, Osogbo

Labour protest. File photo.

Members of the Ayuba Waba-led Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have protested in Osogbo, the state capital.

Although business activities and traffic were moving undisrupted in Osogbo except for the labour leaders who had earlier positioned at the entrance of the Secretariat, telling workers there was strike.

The labour union members who initially allowed in workers later went in to drag them out as they claim to be carrying out the order of the Ayuba Waba led faction of the NLC.

This is in spite of the warning by the Secretary to the Federal Government, asking labour to respect an Order by the Industrial Court against the strike action.

The NLC is protesting the increase in petrol price to N145 a litre.

Talks between both sides broke down on Tuesday night with the NLC walking out of the meeting.

Meanwhile, in a release, Secretary to the Government, Mr Babachir  David Lawal advised workers to respect the laws of the land and to desist from participating in an illegal strike action.

While directing security agencies to guarantee the safety of workers and their work places, he urged them to remember the Trade Dispute Act, which provides that any worker who takes part in a strike shall not be entitled to any wages or remuneration for the period of the strike.

“And that any such period shall not count for the purpose of reckoning the period of continuous employment and all rights, dependent on continuity of employment shall be prejudicially affected accordingly.”

Meanwhile, the Joe Ajaero faction of the NLC is not joining the strike action.

The Ajaero-led faction agreed to set up a joint technical Committee with the the government to review the new fuel pump price template of N135-N145 within the next two weeks.

The two parties also agreed that the committee would work towards reviewing the current national minimum wage of N18,000.

The decisions were the fallout of a meeting held between the parties on Tuesday in Abuja as well as appeals by both arms of the National Assembly that the issue be resolved through dialogue.

Ajaero had said on a local radio station in Lagos on Wednesday that since electricity companies, banking sector and petroleum sector belong to his faction, the strike cannot be effective.