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Shelve Your Strike Till After Hajj, Operators Beg Labour

In a plea aimed at averting potential disruptions to the sacred pilgrimage of Hajj, the Association for Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria (AHUON) has implored organized labor to postpone their ongoing strike until after the completion of the Hajj season. 

The association expressed deep concern over the adverse impact the strike could have on the Nigerian Muslim community, especially in light of the impending Eid Kabir festival.

Abdullateef Ekundayo Yusuf, the National President of AHUON, underscored the significance of Hajj in Islam and emphasized the financial implications and logistical challenges posed by the strike. 

He stated that while AHUON empathized with the objectives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to improve working conditions, the timing of the strike was ill-advised and could lead to significant financial losses for both operators and pilgrims.

Yusuf highlighted the extensive preparations made by AHUON members, including arrangements for accommodation, transportation, and feeding in Mecca and Medina, as well as the issuance of non-refundable tickets and visas for thousands of pilgrims. 

The disruption caused by the strike would not only affect local operations but also international flights, potentially stranding pilgrims and causing substantial financial setbacks.

“We understand the need for better working conditions for Nigerian workers, but we urge the leadership of the NLC and TUC to reconsider the timing of the strike,” Yusuf stated.

 “The majority of their membership are Nigerian Muslims, and the strike could jeopardize their long-awaited pilgrimage to Hajj.”

The appeal from AHUON comes amidst growing tensions between labor unions and the government over issues such as minimum wage, fuel prices, and other socio-economic demands. 

However, the association remains hopeful that the leadership of the NLC and TUC will prioritize the religious sensitivities and financial well-being of Nigerian Muslims.

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