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Mon, Sep 4, 2023 11:55 PM

Nigeria Labour Congress Threatens Warning Strike: Government's Response and Promises

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Nigeria Labour Congress Threatens Warning Strike: Government's Response and Promises
Following the ultimatum issued by members of the NLC and its affiliates to begin a 2-day warning strike, the Minister of Labour and Employment Simon Bako Lalong and the Minister of State Hon. Nkeiruka Onyeajeocha have briefed the media on efforts to dialogue with labour and avert the strike. The government acknowledges the hardships caused by the removal of Petrol Subsidy and other policies but assures Nigerians that measures are in place to cushion the impact and create a prosperous future.

ABUJA - The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliates have given notice of a 2-day warning strike, prompting the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Bako Lalong, and the Minister of State, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyeajeocha, to address the nation and discuss ongoing efforts to engage in dialogue with the labour unions to avert the strike.

Lalong expressed sympathy on behalf of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR's government to the Nigerian people and, in particular, the workers, who have been faced with challenges resulting from the removal of Petrol Subsidy and other government policies. The government recognizes the temporary hardships and assures Nigerians that the measures taken are meant to renew hope and lead to a prosperous future.

"Implementing these vital but difficult policies has resulted in a measure of hardship for all of us as citizens," Lalong acknowledged. "However, the government must take these decisions now rather than delay them further, as reversing the difficulties that arise would become impossible."

Steps have already been taken by the government to ease the impact of fuel subsidy removal through palliative measures, which include the implementation of policies by all levels of government. These policies are aimed at providing temporary relief to Nigerians while long-term solutions focused on job creation and empowerment are put in place.

Lalong appealed to the leadership of the NLC, assuring Nigerian workers that the government would never take them for granted and appreciates their support and understanding. "We shall continue to pursue policies aimed at massive employment generation in all sectors of the economy as well as look into immediate challenges that have arisen from the policies of the government. We cannot achieve these goals without industrial peace," he emphasized.

As a show of support, the federal government dispatched trucks of rice and grains to states for distribution to the most vulnerable citizens. Additionally, the National Economic Council approved the disbursement of five billion naira to states and the Federal Capital Territory for the purchase and distribution of further relief materials.

President Tinubu's government also directed the purchase of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered buses and the conversion of petrol cars to gas, in an effort to reduce transportation costs and the overall cost of energy. Furthermore, additional measures will be announced in the coming weeks after consultation with the organised labour and key stakeholders. The review of the minimum wage, a promise made by the President, will receive due attention to prevent the Nigerian workers from being adversely affected.

The Minister acknowledged the conflict between the Nigeria Police and the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and assured that it would be promptly resolved within the confines of the law and international conventions Nigeria is committed to.

The Minister also addressed the matter between organised labour and the Imo and Abia State Governments, urging for calm and adherence to the laid-down procedures for dispute resolution. He emphasized the need to break the cycle of confrontation that has yielded little results thus far.

In response to claims of workers' rights violations in the aviation sector, Lalong stated that his office is yet to receive a properly submitted Trade Dispute Form as required by Nigerian laws. He encouraged all parties involved to follow the appropriate channels for dispute resolution.

Lalong also made a call for support from security agencies to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for the acts of marauders terrorizing farmers across the country. He advised citizens to desist from taking the law into their own hands and report such matters to authorities for proper action and amicable resolution.

The Minister concluded by affirming the commitment of the government to continually engage with the labour unions and ensure that the welfare and rights of Nigerian workers are protected. The government aims to strike a balance between necessary policies and the preservation of industrial peace.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-04 News

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