September 18, (THEWILL) – Talks between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the federal government, have ended without an agreement.
The meeting, at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, was intended to avert the planned indefinite strike of the NLC.
The Congress on Tuesday, September 12, threatened to embark on an indefinite strike this week if the Federal Government fails to meet its demands over the removal of fuel subsidy.
Some of the demands made by the labour leaders in the wake of the fuel subsidy removal by the government of President Bola Tinubu include “upward wage review, tax exemptions and allowances to public sector workers, provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, the release of modalities for the N70 billion for Small and Medium Enterprises, the release of officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers by the police”, among others.
The meeting had in attendance senior officials of the ministry, the national president of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, the general secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, national president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Titus Amba, among others.
During the meeting, Lalong pledged to collaborate with organised labour to address the demands put forth by the labour unions in an equitable and fair manner.
He urged the labour leaders to approach the discussions with realism and honesty, expressing his hope that the meeting would result in a resolution that serves the national interest.”
THEWILL reports that after two hours of deliberation, the meeting concluded without reaching a definitive resolution on the union’s demands. It is anticipated that the meeting will reconvene at a later date.
Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, NLC President, Ajaero, said his team was in the meeting with mixed feelings, to find out whether “something will happen or not” as many similar meetings in the past had failed to yield a positive response.
Ajaero noted that the past strikes that the minister referred to were a result of the frustration Nigerian workers faced due to the effects of the hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidies.
According to him, not one of the agreements with the Federal Government was addressed, despite a series of meetings that were held.
Ajaero also vehemently condemned the invasion of the office of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), with some of its leaders arrested and detained.
According to him, that action alone is enough for the NLC to proceed with their planned strike.