7 Strategies Nigeria's Labour Union Can Employ to Address ...
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Lists - August 15, 2023

7 Strategies Nigeria’s Labour Union Can Employ to Address Increased Fuel Prices

Amidst the challenges posed by rising fuel prices, Nigeria’s Labour Union stands as a beacon of hope for the welfare of its workers. This is because workers are expectant that its strategies can help alleviate the effect of subsidy removal.

This article delves into some strategies that the Nigerian Labor Union can employ to tackle the issue at hand, offering a roadmap toward better conditions and stability for the workforce. Let’s jump in.

Nationwide strike without notice

The Nigeria Labour Union recently warned that its members will commence a nationwide strike without any formal notice if marketers increased the pump price of petrol without concluding the ongoing negotiations. This is one of the strategies it can employ.

In his words, NLC President Joe Ajaero said, “As we are here now, they are contemplating on increasing the pump price of petroleum products but let me say this, Nigeria workers will not give any strike notice.”

This is because giving notice can weaken the resolve of the union as the government will call for a meeting where they will be fed with a catalogue of promises that may never be fulfilled.

Intensify their engagement with the government

Speaking at the ongoing African Alliance of Trade Unions meeting in Abuja, Ajaero advised the Federal Government to change “those bad economic policies that make workers’ wages next to nothing.”

He also said, “I want to plead with the government that those bad economic policies that make our wages next to nothing should be checked. If you check those policies that lead to inflation and devaluation of the currency, we will be comfortable even where we are. If the naira is at par with the dollar today, we will ask you to leave minimum wage at N30,000.’’

While his plea is good, the Labour union has to intensify their engagement with the government of every side and through every means. By mounting pressure on every side, the government will be forced into action.

Organise protest

The labour unions can also organise peaceful protests to communicate the hardship faced by workers to the government. One such protest was held on the 2nd of August, 2023. The protests paralysed economic and commercial activities nationwide, leading to shut down of banks, offices and courts in several states. 

As a result of this, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was compelled to meet with them. He eventually prevailed upon them to call off their protests. While that was measured as a sign of progress, labour unions must not be satisfied with mere promises, they must ensure that nationwide protests continue until the government take action that will reduce fuel prices.

Collaborate with civil society

Labour unions can collaborate with civil society organisations to mount pressure on the Tinubu administration. They can work together to hold the government accountable for its decisions. This includes demanding that the money saved since the removal of subsidies should be released as palliative to the masses.

Advocate for energy-efficient practices

The Labour Union can also advocate for investment in renewable energy. This will help to reduce Nigeria’s dependence on imported oil and make the country less vulnerable to fuel price shocks. President Tinubu earlier revealed that plans to create at least 56 CNG (Compress Natural Gas) stations in the first phase of his administration are underway.

Nigeria’s labour union can establish a committee that will monitor Tinubu’s administration and ensure that such plans are made a reality in no distant time.

Also, they can also educate their members to explore alternative forms of transportation, such as public transportation and bicycles. 

Call for transparency in the pricing mechanism

Labour unions can also call for greater transparency in the pricing mechanism for petroleum products. Since some workers don’t understand the reason for the continual hike in fuel prices, having them involved in the process will not only ensure fairness and accountability but it will help others understand issues that affect the pricing mechanism.

Collaborate with lawmakers to introduce legislation

They can also explore legal avenues and collaborate with lawmakers to introduce legislation that addresses fuel price regulation and ensures the government’s accountability in managing fuel costs.

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