As the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) commence a two-day warning strike on Tuesday, sending ripples across the nation’s workforce, the Federal Workers Forum (FWF) has declared its intent to shutter Federal Secretariats in various states.
This announcement was made through an official statement issued by Comrade Andrew Emelieze, the National Coordinator of FWF and former Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, Oyo State Chapter.
In the statement, Comrade Emelieze underscored the FWF’s determination to make a powerful statement in solidarity with the NLC’s actions.
The full statement:
“We at the Federal Workers Forum are in full support of the call by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for a two days national warning strike from Tuesday 5th to 6th September, 2023 over issues of government insensitivity to the plight of workers and the citizenry at large.
“As federal workers, we are also badly affected by the economic crisis visited on Nigerians as a result of the hike in the pump price of petrol, all in the name of subsidy removal.
“We had earlier written to the federal government to adjust our wages automatically in line with the existing economic realities but that has fallen on deaf hears.
“It is over three months now that fuel subsidy had been removed and fuel has equally been increased twice by over 300%, with a price shift from ₦187 to over ₦620 but salaries have remained the same. Federal workers within this period have gone through excruciatingly tough times. It has been stories of mass suffering and life has been made almost meaningless to the federal workers.
“Everything has been nauseating and hunger is now a way of life among the federal workers. As a matter of fact, federal workers have been financially embarrassed as against the provisions of the general order of the federal civil service rules and regulations.
“Federal government workers are no slaves,we therefore query this pathetic situation and call on all federal workers to ensure that the two days warning strike is successful.
“We call on the federal workers to ensure that all federal government Secretariat across the federation is shut down during the strike period. Workers are to also ensure that every other government offices, departments and agencies are shut down nationwide.
“We call on all industrial unions, organising federal workers to comply with the directives of the NLC.
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) is also called upon to ensure the success of this strike action.
“We urge the federal government to meet up with the demands of labour.
We demand also that government pay up all outstanding arrears of salaries, promotions, duty tour allowances (DTA) owed the federal workers and particular attention to the arrears of salaries of federal university workers in Nigeria.
“Henceforth, federal workers will no longer tolerate any oppression of federal workers anywhere and we shall not hesitate to join any workers group in solidarity strike when oppression is noticed; our attention here is drawn to the plight of our colleagues in the federal universities.
“We equally call on the NLC to pursue this struggle to a logical conclusion and stop this mass cheating of workers. The NLC must not disappoint Nigerians, the labour movement has our collective support.”
Recall, the Federal Government made an urgent appeal for a two-week extension to address the demands of organized labor, as announced by Simon Lalong, following a closed-door meeting with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Abuja on Monday.
Lalong, speaking to reporters, explained that the purpose of the meeting was to prevent the impending nationwide warning strike planned by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). The NLC had previously declared its intention to initiate a two-day nationwide warning strike from September 5th to September 6th, citing the public’s suffering resulting from the removal of fuel subsidies.
It’s noteworthy that the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported the absence of NLC representatives at the minister’s convened meeting, adding another layer of complexity to this developing situation.