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Nigerian Workers Will Resist Any Bad Policy, Legislation, Says NLC

<strong>Nigerian Workers Will Resist Any Bad Policy, Legislation, Says NLC</strong>

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned that it will join hands with Nigerian people to resist any policy or law that does not respect the wishes and interest of the people.

The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, also raised the issue of welfare and conditions of service for practicing journalists.

According to him, the new leadership of the labour centre will focus on ensuring that owners of media houses pay a living wage to their employees and desist from owing them arrears of salaries.

Ajaero, who made assertions when journalists covering the NLC under the auspices of the Labour Correspondents Association of Nigeria (LACAN) visited him in his office in Abuja yesterday, said that no one should expect the labour movement to ignore the plight the workers or the sufferings of Nigerian people arising from bad government policy.

He said that NLC will always fight for their interests and wellbeing.

“Any bad law or bad legislation must be resisted and we will not obey such law because a law must first respect the interest of the people, their history and culture,” he said.

Ajaero urged critics of the labour movement to realise that there is need for tact in every negotiation, adding that no one can stampede the Congress into doing anything that will hurt the country’s interest.

He also described as unfounded, allegations of corruption and compromise often levelled against Labour leaders whenever they call off strike or protest, saying that certain situations demand that tact and wisdom be employed to achieve the desired result.

Ajaero said that he led the Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) to negotiate one of the biggest privatisation exercises in the country without any indictment.

“I want to call for caution because I came from one of the strongest unions in the country and I have participated in one of the highest and biggest privatisation exercises in the country 

“Let anybody come and say we have collected N1000 from them in the process or that we have done one contract or the other from them,” he said.

Ajaero added that, “There are issues that will come up and you do tactical withdrawal and you come back later on it.”

He also said that in trade dispute negotiations, compromise is allowed. 

“Without prejudice, especially when the nation is in crisis and we know that going on strike will further destroy the unity of the country, we are not just there to finish them up, no,” he said. 

Speaking of difficulties encountered during negotiations with government, he said “we have our own method of operations.”

“For us, if we get what we are looking for, we retreat and come back, perhaps not 100 per cent. I have not seen you get 100 per cent of what you want from negotiations. There are instances where you may need to do a tactical retreat and then you come again to continue,” Ajaero said.

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