By Joan Nwagwu
The Federal Government has again invited the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) for another meeting over its planned indefinite strike.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Simon Lalong, the Minister of Labour and Employment.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Lalong had on Sept. 4, invited NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) for a meeting to avert the earlier two-day nationwide warning strike.
NAN also reports that only the TUC showed up for the meeting.
Lalong said that he had directed the Department of Trade Unions Services and Industrial Relations to convene the meeting with the leadership of the NLC on Monday.
He said it was important for the unions to sit with government to resolve all pending matters to avert further disruption to the economy.
“The administration of President Bola Tinubu will always engage the organised labour and respond to its concerns after due consultation and negotiations.
“This is in order to guarantee industrial harmony which is critical to the attainment of the Renewed Hope Agenda,” Lalong said.
Also, the NLC National Executive Council had on Sept. 1, in a communique threatened to embark on an indefinite strike within 21 days of the issueance of the communique.
NAN reports that the among other demands, the NLC and the TUC are asking for wage awards, implementation of palliatives, tax exemptions and allowances to the public sector workers and a review of the minimum wage.
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 whatsoever.
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.
President Tinubu had since June 19 set up the Presidential Steering Committee and various sub-committees to discuss the framework to be adopted on the palliatives.
The sub-committees had been created to implement FG’s palliative package in areas such as Cash Transfers, Social Investment Programme, Cost of Governance, Energy, and Mass Transit and Housing.
This was a fall-out of the President’s closed-door session with the leadership of the NLC and the TUC during a nationwide protest by the organised labour.(NAN)