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Strike: NLC exco meets today to decide fate, accuses FG of delay

Strike: NLC exco meets today to decide fate, accuses FG of delay

The Nigeria Labour Congress has accused the Federal Government of delaying negotiations on post-subsidy palliatives for workers four months after the fuel subsidy was removed, which exacerbated the country’s woes.

In reaction to the government’s perceived sluggishness, organized labour will call an emergency National Executive Council meeting on Tuesday (today) to decide on its future measures.

The NEC is made up of all of the NLC’s associate union presidents, general secretaries, treasurers, state chairpersons and secretaries of the NLC state councils, the chairperson of the NLC Youth Committee, and members of the National Administrative Council.

A top official of the NLC, who spoke on Monday, hinted that the congress might take drastic action to compel the FG to return to the negotiation table.

The labour union had earlier embarked on a two-day warning strike on September 5 and 6 in readiness for an indefinite strike to press home its demands.

The 21-day ultimatum issued by the congress expired last Friday and the union consequently scheduled an emergency meeting of its NEC for Tuesday (today).

Read Also: FG, NLC meeting ends in deadlock, workers insist on demands

The notice of the meeting dated September 22, 2023, signed by the congress’ General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, urged the presidents, general secretaries, and treasurers of its affiliates to attend the virtual session which it said was of utmost importance.

Ahead of the meeting, state chapters of the NLC had said they were ready to mobilize their members for full participation if the NEC declared a strike.

Among other things, 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.

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

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 taken.

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, leaving the NLC and TUC leadership frustrated.

The National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, had complained that “none of the demands put before the Federal Government had been addressed.’’

A top NLC official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the FG had been given sufficient time to act, noting that it was now four months since the subsidy was removed without any action taken by the FG to assuage the workers’ pains.

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