Strike: Ogun worker feared dead as labour leaders escape mob attack

Violence broke out on Friday at the Nigeria Labour Congress Secretariat, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, as one worker was feared dead while the labour leaders escaped mob attack.

There was a commotion at the Labour House during a congress called by the organised labour over the ongoing indefinite strike.

Our correspondent gathered that the labour leaders – the Chairman, NLC, Emmanuel Bankole; Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Akeem Lasisi and the Chairman, Joint Negotiating Committee, Isa Olude, had called civil servants for a briefing on the outcome of the meeting with the government officials over the industrial dispute.

The labour unions had declared an indefinite strike which began on Tuesday and had crippled activities of the government, hospitals and public schools across the state.

The labour unions had declared the strike over what they termed the “pathetic plight” of workers in the state.

24 hours after the strike, the State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, called the labour leaders for a meeting on Wednesday.

The meeting, which was attended by the union leaders led by Bankole, ended in deadlock.

It was further learnt that another round of the meeting with the government also ended in deadlock

Attempts by the labour leaders to brief the workers on the ongoing dialogue with the government at the workers parliament ended in violence.

While Bankole was briefing the workers on the progress report, the members reportedly revolted against the leaders.

Only Bankole appeared to address the workers while other union leaders refused to show face as the workers were threatening to attack them.

Several attempts to persuade the workers failed as the workers rejected the attempt to call off the strike as they insisted that the strike must continue.

The atmosphere became charged as they were chanting “we no go gree.”

Some of them accused their leaders of compromising in the negotiations regarding their demands from the government.

This led to an uproar with threats of attacks on the union leaders. Some property at the Labour House was reportedly destroyed.

A combined team of security men was drafted to calm the tense atmosphere.

Amid the chaos, one of the workers reportedly slumped.

He was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, where he reportedly died.

His remains, according to sources, had been deposited at the morgue.

Following the outrage, the labour leaders had reportedly bowed to pressure to continue with the strike on Monday.

Bankole denied that the labour leaders had signed an agreement with the government in order to call off the strike.

The NLC called on members to always trust the leadership, saying their demands would not be compromised.

“It’s not a must that we call for a workers’ parliament. We, the leaders, only resolved that we need to call for a workers’ parliament to brief you on the stage we have reached in the negotiation.

“That’s to tell you that nobody will betray your interest. For us to succeed in this struggle and be on the same page, if you don’t trust the leadership, it will be too bad,” Bankole told the gathering of angry workers.

He said the negotiation was still in progress and promised to give further updates on Monday.

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