Season Of Incessant Strikes

ALTHOUGH strikes are not new in this part of the globe, but it is disturbing and mind-boggling that the two critical sectors – Health and Judiciary – are on strike at the same time in the country.
We do not want to believe that the strikes have no solution. However, we wonder what unionism in this country is turning into. Workers’ unions are supposed to be platforms for workers to seek the improvement of their welfare in liaison with employers.
Unfortunately, this is no longer the case in the country because we have observed that in most strikes, the general interests of workers are not altogether the focus. They appear to be those of fifth columnists who believe that strike is the only language the government understands and without it government would not address workers’ plights. It was rare and rather difficult for critical sectors like the health or the judiciary to go on strike because of the sensitive nature of their duties. That has now changed.
Barely a year passes without the health sector going on strike with the attendant consequences of deaths and untold suffering of the populace. We condemn the frequent and sometimes unwarranted mode of seeking solutions to issues in the sector.
The strike by the judiciary has jolted not a few stakeholders. That it occured means that something is basically wrong somewhere. Whatever the problem is, it is scandalous for the two key sectors to go on strike. It is uncalled for and we blame some labour leaders for the avoidable strikes. Their acts are anything but patriotic. They appear not to read the times and understand the reality on ground, politically and economically, as Nigerians.
Need we remind them of the doom prediction on the disintegration of Nigeria and the need to ensure that we do all that is necessasry to make sure it does not materialize. We advise that they avoid acts that tend to fan the embers of destabilisation.
Economically, labour leaders should know that this is not the best of times for the nation. With the oil price nose-diving to an all-time low, there is not much going into the coffers of the government to meet certain obligations. This is in addition to the insecurity problem which the nation is grappling with.
All things considered, we appeal to the leadership of the labour unions to understand the situation on ground and be more patriotic in resolving all the pertinent issues.
To this end, we urge unions to be more realistic in their demands and approaches to issues affecting workers. We say this with particular reference to the demands of the health sector
We applaud the government’s courage and wisdom in resistsing the temptation to apply the ‘no work. no pay’ policy, just as we caution against incessant strikes. As is all too well known, strike is an ill-wind that leaves unintended consequences on its trail. Moreso, as strikes can constitute unforeseen economic drawbacks.
While we emphatise with the federal government on the sudden upsurge of incessant strikes, we urge all parties to the conflicts to divisive better and amicable ways of resolving the divisive issues as soon as possible, in the interest of the nation.