TUC opts out of NLC warning strike, instead engaging with federal government at present meeting
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The TUC has opted out of the NLC warning strike. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has said that it will not participate in the statewide warning strike planned by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which is set to commence on Tuesday.

TUC opts out of NLC warning strike, instead engaging with federal government at present meeting

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The TUC has decided to opt out of the NLC warning strike and is currently in discussions with the federal government of Nigeria.

Comrade Festus Osifo, President of the TUC, asked the NLC to intensify discussion with the government, which it has done.

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“As of today, there is no need to embark on a nationwide strike,” Osifo stated after meeting with Labour Minister Simon Lalong.

The NLC announced last week that its members will go on strike starting tomorrow.

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In three weeks time, it will then embark on a general strike to protest the rising cost of living, after the government scrapped petrol subsidy that cost the government about $10 billion yearly.

The Unions went on strike a month ago, but suspended their action following an offer of talks with the government, but those talks did not result in concessions sufficient to placate organised labour.

“The federal government has refused to engage and reach agreement with organized labour on the critical issues of the consequences of the unfortunate hike in the price of petrol which has unleashed massive suffering on Nigerian workers and masses,” Union leader Joe Ajaero said.

The NLC rebuffed talks with the new labour minister, Simon Lalong on Monday, as it said it will embark on the warning strike, preparatory for;

“Total and indefinite shutdown of the nation” later in the month.

Ajaero insisted the strike can only be averted whensteps are taken by the government to address the “excruciating mass suffering and impoverishment being experienced around the country”.

Lalong appealed to the NLC to shelve the strike, saying that such action would be detrimental to plans of the government.

“It has become pertinent to appeal to the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to suspend its intended two-day warning strike, as such action would be detrimental to the gains already being recorded on our course to securing a greater future fo Nigerian workers and citizens at large.

It should be realised that the cabinet of this administration was only recently sworn in by Mr. President and all cabinet members have hit the ground running by receiving briefings from their MDAs.

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“Therefore, the issues raised by the leadership of the NLC are some issues that I and the Hon. Minister of State for Labour and Employment are being briefed upon. In the next few weeks, we intend to address them holistically.

“Consequently, I use this opportunity to reassure Nigerian workers that this government would never take them for granted nor fail to appreciate 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 emerged from the policies of the government. We cannot do this in an atmosphere devoid of industrial peace,” he said.

Lalong said his ministry had not received any notification about the planned strike as required by law.

During the discussion between the minister and the TUC, Osifo stated that some of the topics that needed immediate attention included the execution of palliatives and pay award.

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Others, he said, include tax breaks and incentives for public sector employees, mechanisms for N70 billion in Small and Medium Enterprises, and the RTEAN situation.

Nothing has been put in place for federal workers in the palliatives that have been rolled out.”

“We require a wage award.” The government’s palliatives aren’t very comprehensive. “We believe the government is capable of much more,” he said.

Osifo also stated that the TUC leadership would continue to communicate with the federal government to guarantee that the union’s requests were met.

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