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Indefinite Strike: NLC To Take Crucial Decision At Emergency NEC Meeting Today

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is set to take a crucial decision concerning its proposed indefinite strike at the union’s emergency National Executive Council (NEC) on Tuesday (today).

Recall that the notice of the meeting dated September 22, 2023, signed by the congress’ General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, appealed to the presidents, general secretaries and treasurers of its affiliates to attend the virtual session.

The NEC comprises all presidents, general secretaries, treasurers of all NLC’s affiliate unions, state chairpersons and secretaries of the NLC state councils, chairperson of the NLC Youth Committee and members of the National Administrative Council.

The NLC had embarked on a two-day warning strike on September 5 and 6 in readiness for an indefinite strike to press home its demands.

The 21-day ultimatum issued by the congress expired last Friday, and the union consequently scheduled an emergency meeting of its NEC for Tuesday.

Part of the union’s demands were wage awards, implementation of palliatives, tax exemptions and allowances to the public sector workers and a review of the minimum wage, among others.

A top official of the union, as gathered by Naija News, revealed that the congress might take drastic action to compel the FG to return to the negotiation table.

The top official told The Punch on Monday that the NLC is still maintaining its position on its demands from the federal government, adding that the NEC meeting would determine whether the strike would be immediate or not.

The top official said, “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 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 they are happy that the Federal Government has not met NLC’s demands.’’

Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has said it is waiting for feedback from the Federal Government following last week’s post-subsidy removal negotiations.

Recall that the TUC, led by its National President, Festus Osifo, had a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, on 19 September.

The minister 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.

Against that backdrop, the National Vice President of the congress, Tommy Etim, told the platform on Monday 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 union’s demands, the Minister of Information, Idris Mohammed, simply said, ‘’No cause for alarm. Engagement is still ongoing.’’

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