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Fed Govt Moves To Avert Impending Indefinite Strike, To Meet NLC Leadership Again

OSAS EMMANUEL

ABUJA, Nigeria – In a bid to avert the proposed indefinite nationwide strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Bako Lalong, has again invited the congress for another meeting. 

The Minister, who directed the Department of Trade Unions Services and Industrial Relations to convene a meeting with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for Monday 18th September, 2023, said it was important that the Unions sit with Government to resolve all pending matters to avert further disruption to the economy.

According to the Minister, the administration of President Bola Tinubu will always engage the organised labour and respond to its concerns after due consultation and negotiations in order to guarantee industrial harmony which is critical to the attainment of the Renewed Hope Agenda.

It would be recalled that the Minister had invited the two Labour centres for talks to avert the 2 day strike held between 5th and 6th September, but only the TUC showed up for the meeting.

 The NLC had on September 1, during its National Executive Council (NEC), meeting held in Abuja, resolved to embark on an indefinite strike nationwide over what it described as the extensive hardships and deprivation afflicting the citizens across all states of the federation.

According to the congress, the hardship was occasioned by the federal government’s decision to remove fuel subsidy. 

NLC President, Joe Ajaero during the press conference after the congress NEC meeting explained that the proposed strike action was necessitated as a result of the government deliberate neglect and disregard to engage the relevant stakeholders through the channel of social dialogue.

He said the Federal Government has refused to engage and reach an agreement with the organized labour on critical issues on the consequences of the unfortunate hike in prices of Petroleum which has unleashed massive suffering on Nigerian workers and masses.

Ajaero said that the NEC meeting, which was an all-inclusive session, deeply analyzed the prevailing national sentiment, taking into account the extensive hardships and deprivation afflicting our citizens across all states of the federation.

“The council scrutinized the federal government’s failure to establish essential structures to address the widespread suffering in our nation. Furthermore, it considered the government’s deliberate neglect and disregard for engaging with national stakeholders through the channels of social dialogue, a commitment it had solemnly declared during the President’s inaugural address on May 29, 2023. 

“The Federal Government has refused to engage and reach agreement with Organised labour on the critical issues of the consequences of the unfortunate hike in the price of petrol which has unleashed massive suffering on Nigerian workers and masses.

“As a result of the aforementioned, the NEC-in-Session resolved as follows: To embark on a total and indefinite shutdown of the nation within 14 working days or 21 days from today Until steps are taken by the Government to address the excruciating mass suffering and impoverishment being experienced around the country.

“To commence a 2-day nationwide warning strike on Tuesday & Wednesday the 5th & 6th of September, 2023 to demonstrate our readiness for the indefinite strike later in the month…”

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