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Labour threatens indefinite strike, gives one week ultimatum

Labour threatens indefinite strike, gives one-week ultimatum

The organized labour on Tuesday threatened to start an indefinite strike should the Federal Government not agree to its demands at the end of a 21-day ultimatum that would expire in around one week, just one week after it led a two-day nationwide warning strike.

The workers union said that the planned strike was essential since the federal government had not offered relief for the problems that Nigerians were experiencing as a result of the loss of fuel subsidies.

The Nigeria Labour Congress said the industrial action which may commence any day from next week would lead to an indefinite shutdown of commercial and economic activities across the country.

Speaking with newsmen on Tuesday, the National Assistant General Secretary of the NLC, Mr Christopher Onyeka, said the FG was wrong to share a bag of rice to a dozen citizens while reportedly giving N100m palliative to each member of the National Assembly.

The union had on September 1 handed down a 21-day ultimatum to the FG over the delay in sharing of palliatives, saying it might be compelled to declare an indefinite labour action if its demands were not met.

To demonstrate its seriousness, the NLC mobilized workers for a two-day warning strike on September 5 and 6, partially grounding social and economic activities in several states with banks, ministries, agencies, and departments closed to the public in some states.

The NLC leadership had said the action was in preparation for a total shutdown which would start at the expiration of the ultimatum next week.

Among other demands, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress were asking for wage awards, implementation of palliatives, tax exemptions and allowances to the public sector workers, and a review of the minimum wage.

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Though the FG made a commitment to restructure the framework for engagement with organized Labour on palliatives, the eight-week timeframe set for the conclusion of the process expired in August with no action whatsoever.

The committees were given eight weeks to conclude their assignment and hasten the implementation of the framework in cushioning the effect of petrol subsidy removal on Nigerians but weeks after the timeframe expired, the sub-committees had yet to meet or actualize their mandates.

President Bola Tinubu had since June 19 set up the Presidential Steering Committee and various sub-committees to discuss the framework to be adopted on the palliatives.

The sub-committees had been created to implement FG’s palliative package in areas such as Cash Transfers, Social Investment Programme, Cost of Governance, Energy, and Mass Transit and Housing.

This was a fallout of the President’s closed-door session with the leadership of the NLC and the TUC during a nationwide protest by organized labour.

Labour threatens indefinite strike, gives one-week ultimatum

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