Subsidy removal: FG meets Labour today over insistence on indefinite strike, palliatives distribution


…As Labour’s 21-day ultimatum expires this week

By Matthew Denis, Abuja

Talks involving the Federal Government and the organised Labour to settle scores over unresolved issues involving palliative provisions to cushion the impacts of the removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit (PMS),  popularly called petrol, has further gathered controversies, as the Government on Sunday disclosed meeting fixed with the organised Labour to foreclose plans of an indefinite strike.

The Federal Government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Bako Lalong said it will be meeting  the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) for another meeting. This is coming as  suspense rises over NLC’s plans and insistence on an indefinite strike, should government faiI to yield to its demands.

NLC had last week threatened an indefinite strike which it said could commence any moment after the termination of a 21-day ultimatum it issued to the government on September 01, 2023.

The declaration of the indefinite strike is trailing a warning strike which held  two days across the nation, on Tuesday, September 05  and Wednesday, September 06.

Barely a week after leading the two-day nationwide warning strike,  the NLC again  threatened last week to embark on an indefinite strike should the Federal Government fail to meet its demands at the end of a 21-day ultimatum which will expire this week.

According to the NLC,  the proposed strike was necessary following the failure of the Federal Government to provide palliatives to assuage the hardship of Nigerians as a result of the fuel subsidy removal.

The NLC which had on September 01, 2023 handed down a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government over the delay in sharing of palliatives, had said it might be compelled to declare an indefinite labour action if appropriate responses from the government were not taken.

However, the Federal Government in moves to forestall the plans has said it would meet with Labour leaders Monday (today).

A statement signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment,  Olajide Oshundun, and made available to Nigerian NewsDirect on Sunday revealed the meeting is targeted at appealing to the labour unions to suspend the planned Industrial action.

The statement noted that the  Minister has 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, adding that it was important that the Unions sit with Government to resolve all pending matters to avert further disruption to the economy.

According to the Minister, 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.

It would be recalled that the Minister had invited the two Labour centres including the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) for talks to avert the two-day strike held between 5th and 6th September, but only the TUC showed up for the meeting


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