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Subsidy: Warning strike triggered by frustration, NLC tells FG

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The Nigeria Labour Congress on Monday met with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, to discuss the recent labour crisis in the country.

The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, said that the two-day warning strike that the union declared on August 5 and 6, 2023, was a “product of frustration caused by the economic situation in the country.”

Ajaero lamented the lack of trust between the government and the union in the negotiation process. He said that none of the demands put before the federal government had been addressed.

We are here with that belief that something may happen. But that doubt, that trust gap is what we feared for a long time now and it calls for lamentation. 

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“The strike is an effect of a policy that doesn’t have 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. That warning strike was a product of frustration, up till this moment”. Ajaero said

Some of the demands of the NLC and the Trade Union Congress included: wage award, tax exemptions and allowances to public sector workers, provision of Compressed Natural Gas buses, release of modalities for the N70 billion for Small and Medium Enterprises, release of officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers by the police among others.

Lalong, in his opening remarks, said that the government acknowledged and appreciated the invaluable role that the NLC plays in championing the rights and welfare of workers in the country. He also said that the government was committed to addressing all the concerns raised by the NLC in a just and equitable manner.

Lalong expressed appreciation for the NLC’s presence at the meeting aimed at addressing the recent labour crisis and nurturing economic advancement in the country.

According to him, “In recent months, our country has witnessed teething challenges, marked by industrial actions and unrest that have adversely affected the economy.”

“I appear before you today not just as a representative of the government but as an advocate for constructive dialogue, aspiring to understand your concerns and working hand in hand to find lasting solutions that benefit all Nigerians.

Lalong expressed confidence that the meeting will produce resolutions that would propel the labour sector towards greater strength and the country towards a brighter future.

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