Sabotage? NLC Factions Divided, Opt Out Of Strike


There appears to be a sabotage of the efforts of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to hold a  successful nationwide strike action scheduled for tomorrow by some factions of labour.

Revealing an internal leadership crisis rocking the Nigeria Labour Congress, factional leader of the NLC, Mr Joe Ajaero, yesterday insisted that his faction would not join the Comrade Ayuba Wabba-led NLC to embark on the strike planned for tomorrow.

This follows an invitation by the federal government to the labour leaders for a negotiation meeting yesterday, to avert the impending strike action by the NLC.

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The meeting which held at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir Lawal, saw the different factions taking differing positions on the strike action.

Meanwhile, the federal government maintained its position and insisted that there is no option to the increment of the pump price of fuel. Baiting labour leaders with a possible minimum wage increment to N45,000 from the present N18,000.

At the meeting yesterday, a mild drama played out as the general secretary of the Nigeria Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Mr Joe Ajaero, and the president National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Igwe Achese, both of whom are president and deputy president of the rival NLC faction, were denied access into the meeting room.

Read Also: Groups Urge NLC To Shelve Planned Strike Action

Speaking to journalists outside, NUPENG president, Achese, stated confidently that oil and bank workers, who are part of his faction, would not be joining the strike tomorrow.

Taking sides with the Ayuba Wabba-led NLC faction, president of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN),Olabode Johnson, took sides with Labour on proceeding with the strike.

Last weekend, NUPENG and PENGASSAN, both oil industry unions, had endorsed the deregulation policy of the federal government which caused a sharp hike in the price of petrol from N86 to N145 per litre.

Speaking to newsmen outside the meeting, Comrade Ajaero said his group have opted out of the strike action, adding that his faction would also be meeting with the federal government’s team immediately after the meeting with the Wabba faction.

The last has definitely not been heard from the NLC, as factions opt out and uncertainty trails the success of the planned strike action.