Subsidy Removal Hardship: Labour Insists on Tuesday Strike, Govt Moves To Stall Action

Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong
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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to call out its members on a two-day warning strike starting from Tuesday, 5 September, 2023 over the hardship caused by the removal of subsidy on petrol, which Labour insists has brought unmitigated hardship on millions of ordinary Nigerians, including the workers the NLC leads.

 However, there are indication that the Federal Government has moved to avert the strike by engaging labour union leaders in dialogue.

  The NLC has reportedly come under pressure from its affiliates to go ahead with the two-day warning strike – before an indefinite one is called if the federal government failed to heed the industrial action – after labour learned that none of the committees set up to mitigate the effects of the subsidy removal had met to carry out the task.

 Labour is also peeved because government has allegedly and deliberately refused to stick to the agreements reached with the workers union in relation to the subsidy removal.

 Sources said the NLC is also unconvinced that the palliatives being given out by both the federal and states governments are enough to mitigate the hardships Nigerians are currently going through as a result of the fuel subsidy removal.

The labour leaders also claimed that government’s inadequate action on the matter had exposed them to danger as labour leaders “are becoming target of attacks from the people who think we are not doing anything to help them in the face of the untold hardship they are going through because of the fuel subsidy removal”.

 Last Friday, the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, had disclosed that “NEC in session of NLC resolved to embark on a total and indefinite shutdown of the nation within 14 working days or 21 days from today until steps are taken by the government to address the excruciating mass suffering and the impoverishment experienced around the country. The NLC will commence a two-day warning strike on Tuesday and Wednesday, 5th and 6th of September 2023 to demonstrate our readiness for the indefinite strike later in the month and to also demand that the state vacates the illegally occupied national headquarters of the National Union of Road Transport Workers.”

 However, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris Magaji, has assured that the government would meet with labour in order to avert the strike through dialogue with the NLC leaders.

 Also, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, reportedly met with labour union leaders over the weekend in order to avert the industrial action.

 Lalong is also expected to address a media briefing on the impeding strike today, Monday 4 September, 2023.  

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