Fuel Subsidy Dispute: To Starve Off Industrial Action by Labour, FG Meets NLC Monday 

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja 

In a bid to prevent an indefinite strike by organised labour in protest over unresolved issues relating to fuel subsidy palliatives, the Federal Government has fixed a meeting with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday.

A statement by the Director Information, 

Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, said the Minister, Simon Bako Lalong, has invited the NLC for another meeting over its planned indefinite strike.

The statement made available to THISDAY on Sunday said: “Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Simon Bako Lalong, who sent the invite to the leadership of the NLC, specifically directed the Department of Trade Unions Services and Industrial Relations to convene a meeting with the leadership of the organised labour for Monday, September 18, 2023.

 “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.”

The minister said 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.

Lalong had earlier met with the two labour unions, Trade Union Congress (TUC) and NLC, for talks to avert the two-day warning strike held between September 5th and 6th but only the TUC showed up for the meeting.

NLC boycotted the meeting, accusing government of not showing seriousness in the negotiation.

Following its displeasure over delays in talks with the Federal government, NLC issued a 21-day ultimatum within which government should come up with palliatives to cushion the impact of fuel price hike or face total and indefinite strike.

In a statement issued to mark an end to the two-day warning strike, the NLC President Joe Ajaero said: “In the event that the government fails to provide the appropriate responses to our demands, we encourage you to maintain your steadfast resolve. 

“The same passion and determination that fuelled this warning strike will be crucial if we find ourselves compelled to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike.”

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