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Friday, August 12, 2022

Subsidy Removal : Labour leaders meet tomorrow on strike date

*Oil workers reject hike, vow to fight
*It ‘ll discourage saving, bankers warn

BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG

LAGOS – LEADERS of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and their Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, counterpart, will tomorrow meet to fix a date for the commencement of a general strike, mass protest and rally to force government to rescind the subsidy removal that has skyrocketed the pump price of petrol to N150 per litre.

This came as oil workers rejected the total removal of subsidy on petrol and vowed to join forces with other unions and the two central labour organisations to fight the policy, describing government action as the height of insensitivity and wickedness, especially when the minimum requirements for subsidy removal had not been met.

Similarly, bankers yesterday warned that the new policy would, among other economic implications, discourage saving and mass withdrawal of deposits to finance additional cost of social services and other needs.

Vanguard gathered that leaders of NLC and TUC are meeting in Labour House, Abuja to fix a date and methods for the general strike, mass actions and streets protest.

It was further gathered that the last National Executive Council, NEC, of NLC directed affiliate unions and state councils to put members on stand-by for any eventuality.

…PENGASSAN kicks

Also, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has rejected the subsidy removal and described the action as totally unacceptable and a crass display of bad faith, especially the unilateral increase in the pump price of petrol by the government in the guise of “subsidy removal.

“We, therefore, urge all Nigerians to gird their loins and begin immediate mobilisation for the struggle ahead aimed at ensuring that this exploitative policy designed to further impoverish Nigerian workers and masses does not stand.”

It ‘ll  discourage saving, bankers warn

In the same vein, organised labour in the financial sector, under the aegis of the of Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI, while rejecting the the policy, warned that it would worsen the banking sector of the economy.

President of ASSBIFI, Mr Sunday Salako, lamented that the policy would have untold negative consequences on all sectors of the economy, saying it is unnecessary, uncalled for, anti-people and should be resisted by all.

According to him, “among others, it would discourage saving because it is only when you have enough before you can think of saving. At the same time, even deposits will be affected badly because depositors will resort to mass withdrawal to meet the additional cost imposed by the hike and it’s consequences.

JAF protests today

Meanwhile, the Joint Action Forum, JAF, umbrella body for pro-labour civil society groups in the country, has called on Nigerians to troop out today to make a statement to President Goodluck Jonathan and other promoters of the wicked subsidy removal that enough is enough.

Secretary of JAF, Comrade Abiodun Aremu, told Vanguard that the group had put everything in place for the protest expected to kick off at the NLC Lagos office, Yaba.

He vowed that any filling station found selling product above N65 per litre would be shut down and advised security operatives to be on the side of the Nigerian people and ensure seamless protest.

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Subsidy Removal : Labour leaders meet tomorrow on strike date

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