The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, on Saturday condemned the shooting of workers during a joint visit of the organised labour to Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State in Lafia on Friday.
The TUC in a statement by its National President, Bobboi Kaigama, and Acting Secretary General, Simeso Amachre in Lagos, said that a worker died and two others were injured after the shooting.
According to the statement, leadership of TUC and the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, went to visit the governor when the police stationed at the gate of the State Government House opened fire on the delegation.
“We are distraught that labour leaders who went to dialogue with the government over the unlawful 50 per cent cut in workers’ salaries in the state were confronted with such act.
“We are especially shocked that the incident happened while the new Commissioner of Police in the state was also there visiting the governor”, the TUC said.
It explained that the shooting was uncalled for because the workers were unarmed and their protest was very legitimate and peaceful.
It said that there was no reason to use bullet to intimidate and cow workers from insisting on their fundamental rights.
“It was inexcusable to employ force against innocent workers who, apart from not being paid promptly, had their salaries unlawfully cut by 50 per cent.
“Security operatives are supposed to protect life not waste same. We urge the workers in the state to remain calm and law-abiding”, it said.
The TUC called on the Inspector General of Police to ensure that officers responsible for the shootings are prosecuted.
It warned that unless justice prevailed within the next few days, the workers would embark on indefinite nationwide protest against police brutality.
It also advised the Nasarawa state government to immediately pay the workers their full salaries and other entitlements to avoid industrial face-off.