NLC, TUC threaten showdown over Rivers crisis

By The Citizen


IF the ongoing political crisis in Rivers State continues, the nation will feel its impact starting from Monday, May 27, as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart have announced plans for an industrial action on the said date.

The action is to protest the denial of Obio/Akpor Local Council workers entry into the council premises and payment of their salaries.

At a joint press conference with the TUC in Port Harcourt Thursday, the Rivers NLC Chairman, Chris Oruge, said the organised labour does not have any business with the ongoing political crisis in the state, but maintained that Labour was purely concerned about the rights and privileges of their colleagues working in the embattled council.

Oruge explained that the unions had earlier issued a seven-day ultimatum on May 17, 2013, in which it urged the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, to obey court decision and vacate the secretariat to allow the workers return to their duties and receive their salaries.

However, he lamented that up till date, neither the Police nor the state government had contacted them except the State Security Service (SSS), which called to inquire about their moves.

Noting that the organised labour has responsibility to protect workers' interests, he added that the planned strike would start on Monday as a two-day warning strike, then proceed to an indefinite strike if nothing urgent was done in the matter.

Similarly, the Rivers TUC Chairman, Chika Onuegbu, pledged his union's support for NLC in whatever action it would take to right the injustices against their members.

According to him, 'the Constitution of Nigeria states that court orders should be obeyed, but what baffles me is that the Nigerian Police that suppose to advocate obedience of court orders fail to obey court orders. If nothing is done after the two-day warning strike, we will proceed with an indefinite strike together with NLC because injustice to one is injustice to all.'