The Nigeria Labour Congress has issued an ultimatum to the federal government, warning that they must meet their demands by Friday, or the country could face another round of industrial unrest.
This ultimatum came as the government requested more time to address the grievances of the labor movement.
During a meeting between the Ministry of Labour and Employment and NLC, labor leaders made it clear that they had already given the government ample time to address their demands.
Some of the key demands include:
- Wage awards,
- Tax exemptions and allowances for public sector workers,
- Reducing the cost of governance,
- Providing Compressed Natural Gas buses,
- Releasing modalities for N70 billion for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and
- Releasing officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers detained by the police.
Joe Ajaero, President of NLC, emphasized the impending deadline, saying, “Precisely, our 21-day ultimatum will expire this Friday, September 22… So, the government has up till Friday to address our demands or risk another round of industrial unrest.”
He also urged the government to intervene in the NURTW issue and called for the police and federal government to provide relief to the union, emphasizing that this issue falls under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and could be resolved promptly.
Ajaero reiterated the labor movement’s frustration, stating, “The strike is an effect of a policy that doesn’t have a human face.’
“There was no strike before the removal of fuel subsidy. It was the government that said ask for palliatives, ask for wages, and we have asked for it.”
However, the Labour Minister, Simon Lalong, assured the NLC of the government’s commitment to addressing their concerns and grievances.
He emphasized the need to find a balance that promotes economic growth while addressing labor demands.
Despite the plea for more time, the NLC made it clear that they would not leave the meeting without achieving some of their objectives, and if the demands were not met by the deadline, they would take appropriate industrial action.
The NLC had previously issued a 21-day ultimatum to the government, and after a two-day warning strike in early September, they reiterated their resolve to proceed with further industrial action if their demands were not met.
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