NLC exco meet today over strike

NLC exco meet today over strike

5 minutes, 22 seconds Read

NLC exco meet today over strike

Nigeria Labour Congress

NLC exco meet today over strike. 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 labor will conduct 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 with one of our correspondents on Monday, hinted that the congress might take drastic action to compel the FG to return to the negotiation table.

The labor union had previously staged a two-day warning strike on September 5 and 6 in preparation for an indefinite walkout to pursue its demands.

The congress’s 21-day ultimatum expired last Friday, and the union called an emergency meeting of its NEC on Tuesday (today).

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 mobilise 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 organised 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 actualise their mandates, leaving the NLC and TUC leadership frustrated.

Joe Ajaero, the National President of the NLC, has claimed that “none of the demands made to the Federal Government had been addressed.”

A top NLC official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The PUNCH that the FG had been given enough time to act, stressing that it had been four months since the subsidy was removed with no action by the FG to alleviate the workers’ plight.

He stated, ‘’It is for the government to do the right thing; the government has been given a long time to act and it is four months since the petrol subsidy was removed.

‘’It is only private sector employers who were telling the government to reach an agreement with us, and they were also kicking against the strike because they are apprehensive any labour action will affect them but it is going to affect everybody, not just the private sector.’’

The source reiterated that the NLC had not changed its stance on the demands presented to the government.

He said the NEC would take decisions on the way forward, advising those opposed to a possible strike to prevail on the FG to meet the needs of the people.

Stating that the NEC meeting would determine whether the strike would be immediate or not, he said, ‘’The private sector employers have refused to give wage awards, saying that they want the Federal Government to lead the way. Therefore, they should have asked the Federal Government to lead the way.’’

”However, because the employers have refused to pay, they are waiting for the Federal Government and are pleased that the Federal Government has not satisfied the NLC’s demands,” he continued.

Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress has stated that it is awaiting input from the Federal Government on the post-subsidy removal negotiations that took place last week.

The TUC, led by its National President, Festus Osifo, had during a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, on September 19 said workers were facing enormous pressure that are making life very difficult.

The minister, in company of the Minister of State, Nkeiruka Onyeajeocha, told the TUC that after their last meeting, he met with President Bola Tinubu to highlight some of the issues raised by organised labour.

He appealed to the TUC to exercise more patience, explaining that before the President left for the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he was fully briefed and he gave further directives on the implementation of demands put before him when he met with the labour leaders.

Speaking with our correspondent on Monday, the National Vice President of the congress, Tommy Etim, explained that the union was expecting the outcome of the minister’s deliberations with the President.

He said, “During our last meeting with the minister of labour, we were told that the President was out of the country and would need to be back from the UNGA before our messages will be passed across.

‘’As of now, we have not been reached out to but we are waiting for the outcome of the meeting between the minister and the president. We have been assured that we will get feedback.”

When asked what the FG was doing to meet the unions’ demands, the Minister of Information, Idris Mohammed, simply said, ‘’No cause for alarm. Engagement is still ongoing.’’

“He (Lalong) maintained that industrial harmony remains key to the socio-economic development of any nation, and urged the Union to work in synergy with the Federal Government in moving the country forward,” said Olajide Oshundun, Director, Press and Public Relations Unit, Ministry of Labour and Employment, in a statement issued in Abuja Monday.

“Lalong stated that one of the NLC’s demands at last week’s meeting between the Congress and the Ministers of Labour and Employment was the release of the detained NURTW members.”

“He assured them that the processes leading to the fulfillment of the NLC’s other requests, particularly wage award, were on track and would be completed soon.”

“The minister therefore called on the NLC not to embark on their planned strike, and allow government work to resolve all pending issues.”

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *