The Comrade Joe Ajaero-led United Labour Congress (ULC) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), yesterday, returned to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) fold to fortify the fight against the deregulation policy of the Federal Government.
Ajaero is NLC’s deputy president, while the NUPENG boss, William Akporeha, gets the congress’ vice chairmanship.
Excited at the unification, former president of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), Peter Esele, said the movement was now stronger to confront unpopular policies.
He urged the Federal Government to articulate the deregulation policy spearheaded by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), saying labour was poised to resisting an increase in pump price.
In his remarks, NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, said the commitment to brotherhood and solidarity, which the labour movement world over is known for, had kept aglow the light of peaceful relations in resolving differences, exemplified in the fresh rapprochement.
He explained that both the NLC and ULC had always collaborated in defending Nigerian workers, especially during negotiations for the new national minimum wage.
“With this reconciliation, the leadership and structures of the United Labour Congress have been reintegrated into the Nigeria Labour Congress. In the reconciliation’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the two leaderships, the modus operandi for this re-integration and ancillary issues is spelt out to the satisfaction of both parties,” Wabba stated.
In a related development, marketers of petrol and other white products yesterday faulted the monthly modulation of prices, insisting that the continued exercise by the PPPRA would not help the industry.
Under the aegis of Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), they maintained that the nationwide shutting down of retail outlets by stakeholders in the downstream sector against price increment was not the solution.
PETROAN president, Dr Billy Gillis-Harry, said though the monthly guiding prices would allow reasonable returns to operators, a dialogue involving all stakeholders, he added, was a better path to a sustainable resolution.