LAGOS – Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Friday admonished labour unions to stop infighting that divides their members.
“You must stop having factions in the labour movement and you must realise that a divided labour group is a fragile one,’’ the governor said.
Fashola, at the 2015 Workers Day Commemoration in Lagos, said that “the overall welfare of workers must be bigger than the political ambitions of some members.’’
“The incoming new governments both at the state and national levels need a united labour force not a divided one to deliver on the aspirations of workers.
“All the labour leaders must ensure to have one united work force,’’ he said.
The governor urged the workers unions to rather negotiate with government on any grievance instead of embarking on strikes.
He said: “Indeed, every strike ends up on a negotiation table and there is no limit to how long we can negotiate.’’
“Labour groups must resolve to sacrifice, to participate, be a part of the solution and not to be part of the problem.
“Workers unions must choose negotiation and dialogue over strike.
“Strike should be the last resort only when every other thing has failed.
“We must understand that every strike has consequences – we lose money and those who strike will not be paid for the duration of the strike.’’
The governor appealed to the state’s workforce to give maximum support to the incoming Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration to better fulfil their aspirations.
“I have enjoyed very fond memories of relationships that started between us from the 1st of May 2008 which has remained unbroken since then.
“I want to thank all of you for your support and also for your criticisms.
“The combination of your support and criticisms have made our relationship and the union better.
“But I urge you to give more support to Ambode and his team than you have given to me,’’ he said.
Fashola noted that the challenges faced by labour groups in Nigeria were not different from those of other climes.
According to him, the global workforce will continue to seek better work environment, welfare and other common aspirations.
Mr Akeem Kazeem, the Lagos State Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), appealed to Fashola to wade into the Lagos State University (LASU) crisis.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Fashola should also be commended for reducing the school fees of LASU students.
Kazeem urged the Federal Government to reduce the pump price of petrol in order to lessen the burden and hardship of Nigerians.
“Reduced prices of petroleum products will ameliorate the suffering of the Nigerian masses.
“We appeal to the Lagos State Government too to fulfill its agreement reached with us on the three-year upward review of workers’ salaries,’’ he said.
Kazeem decried casualisation of workers, the rising unemployment rate, the poor electricity supply and the irregular payment to pensioners in the country. (NAN)
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