‘Be prepared’, Ondo TUC tells workers ahead of strike

The Ondo chapter of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has asked workers in the state to prepare ahead of the nationwide strike to protest the high cost of living occasioned by the increment in petrol prices.

Clement Fatuase, Ondo TUC chairman, made the call in Akure while revealing the plans of the labour leaders in mobilising workers for the proposed strike action.

Mr Fatuase said the atmosphere and state workers are already “charged”, especially as they are being affected by the increment in petrol pump prices and other prices of commodities and food items.

“It is so charged that nearly everybody has picked up the Boy Scout motto, ‘be Prepared’,” he said on Sunday. “We are also ready. Everyone is affected, and maybe you’re not, but we are prepared.”

Amid the effect of fuel price increment and rising inflation in the country, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had issued a seven-day ultimatum to the federal government led by President Bola Tinubu to reserve all anti-poor policies of the present administration or face an indefinite strike action starting from Wednesday, August 2, 2023.

The NLC had also directed all its affiliates, state councils and civil society organisations to mobilise workers for a long-lasting strike and mass protests should the government fail to accede to its demands.

Mr Fatuase explained that the state’s labour leaders will meet on Monday to strategise ahead of the industrial action.

“We are having a strategic meeting by tomorrow (Monday), and by then, we will roll out all our plans, but what I know is that the present situation in the country is so charged.”

While noting that the planned strike might not solve the present demands of the Nigerian masses, Mr Fatuase said the industrial action has become necessary since it had always been the language the government understood.

“Although the strike might not solve any problem, if that is the only language the government or employers would understand, then we won’t hesitate to speak that language to them.

The organised labour in the state had shown their displeasure at the hardship in the country occasioned by the increase in the pump price of fuel, which has led to a rise in the cost of food items.

The union, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and the Joint Negotiating Council, had described as “wicked” the increment in the petrol price after the removal of subsidy without putting in place palliative to cushion its effect on the Nigerian masses.