In a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Bolaji Adebiyi, the Federal Government said that the strike threat issued by the United Labour Congress (ULC) amounted to economic sabotage.
The Government warned promoters of the Union, that it would not allow an unrecognised group to hold the country hostage.
The ULC, which is a factionalised body of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, had threatened the Government to address its demands, or they commence a nationwide strike.
Some of their demands included payment of salary arrears and provision of infrastructure, especially roads.
Excerpts from the Statement:
“The attention of the Federal Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige, has been drawn to several media publications and statements signed by Mr Didi Adodo on behalf of the Association, the United Labour Congress, ULC, as its Secretary-General.
“The statements gave the false impression that this Association is a Government-recognised Federation of Trade Union.
The statement and letters issued in the last few weeks include those that gave the Federal Government a 14-day ultimatum, stating that some trade unions it “claims” as affiliates will go on strike over some issues, which are of national importance.
“The Trade Unions Act, CAP T14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, is explicitly clear on how a group of Trade Unions can coalesce to form a Federation of Trade Union”.
The Statement further said that ULC does not qualify until they fulfil the requirement, and that the Government would not fold its arms and allow any group to take law into its hands by threatening to commit economic sabotage.
It is of note that ULC’s threat included shutting down essential services in the oil and gas, power, and aviation sectors.
The Government then urged members of the Trade Unions sympathetic to the ULC to go about their duties for the good of the national economy.