The national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had declared total strike over the sudden removal by the Federal Government of subsidy on petrol.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, in a statement entitled, “Strike: Senate urges caution,” urged labour to embrace dialogue as proposed by the government.
Most observers however, feel that the position of the Senate runs counter to public opinion on the issue as most Nigerians have thrown their weight behind the proposed strike.
Abaribe said: “The Senate is concerned over the impact of a total shut down of the national economy, which the threat of strike action by organised labour will cause.
“The senate is also worried that the Nigerian people especially the ordinary ones would ultimately be at the receiving end of the planned strike and mass protest.
“Of utmost worry to the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is that such protest and total shut down of the country portends greater danger to the polity especially in the face of prevailing security situation.
“Consequently, the Senate appeals to the organised labour: Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to reconsider their stand and continue with dialogue, which the Presidency has expressed its readiness to so do.
“Labour must of necessity explore the dialogue option and for the sake of Nigeria explore the opportunities provided by the readiness of government to further negotiate.
“Also the Senate urges the presidency to do everything possible to avert the ugly situation, by not only fast tracking the implementation of the palliative measures, but also to vigorously pursue meaningful negotiation with the organised labour, ” the statement said.