The Arewa Consultative Forum, (ACF) has appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and other trade unions to prioritise the interest of the country and shelve their strike action.
This was even as the forum said the labour unions should consider that the 2019 general elections is by the corner.
In a statement issued to newsmen in Kaduna and signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Alh Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, ACF noted that it sympathises with all the Nigerian workers who continue to toil in an increasingly difficult economic environment.
“We also support whatever they or their unions legitimately do to improve on their welfare.
“However, ACF wishes to draw the attention of the labour and trade union organisations to the fact that the public is getting extremely alarmed by the risky method they have chosen to fight for the welfare of their members.
“It will be recalled that ASUU, ASUP and other unions in our tertiary institutions have been on total, comprehensive and indefinite strike almost 100 days to our general elections. And now, about 40 days to the elections, the Nigeria Labor Congress, NLC, is threatening not only to call its members out on a total and prolonged strike but to mobilise them to paralyze the country.
“The ACF is very much worried and concerned with this threat to industrial peace and harmony, and hereby appeals to the leadership of NLC and other trade unions to place the interest of the country above all other considerations.
“Workers’ welfare can only be improved if the country is working and the general elections that is at the heart of our democracy be allowed to take place in a peaceful environment.
“We cannot afford to truncate our hard earned democracy at this critical time when all hands are expected to be on deck to move the country forward.
“We, therefore, urge the labour leaders to remain patriotic and prevail on their members to suspend the proposed total strike and for ASUU and ASUP, we appeal to them to call off the strike and return to the negotiation table.
ACF urges all interested parties to note that the issue of minimum wage transcends all sectors of the economy, hence the need for workers in both public, private sectors and governments to come together and agree on what the economy can accommodate, after which a bill to that effect can be transmuted to the National Assembly forthwith.
“We already have so many challenges in the polity, economy and security which requires collective efforts to restore our faith in both our democracy and the country. We, therefore, appeal for understanding and call on all parties to shift grounds.”