BY The Evangelist News edition, Friday September 22, 2023. Like, share the link.
The ultimatum of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to the Federal Government to address the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy on Nigerians expires today.
The leadership of the union are expected to meet next week to decide when to begin an indefinite nationwide strike.
However, there are reports that the Vice President, Kashim Shettima has meeting some government personnel on how to avert the strike.
According to Vanguard, the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, alongside the Vice President, are putting together a package, including wage awards, to be presented to the NLC leadership.
Recall that the National Executive Council (NEC) of NLC on the 1st of September 2023 issued a 21-day ultimatum for the government to address the mass suffering and impoverishment experienced around the country.
The labour union threatened to embark on an indefinite strike if the government failed to address its demands.
Sources that spoke with Vanguard revealed that the critical organs of NLC will be meeting next week to decide on the indefinite strike and modalities if the federal government does not act.
The source said, “The issue is conventional, when an ultimatum expires, you call your organs and the organs will decide when to commence the strike. If we ever decide to say we would take one day or few days or one week to prepare for it, that would be their position.”
When asked if the strike would commence immediately, one of the sources privy to the NLC meetings simply said “Nothing is impossible.”
Another source said, “The last NEC held on September 1, 2023, has actually given the leadership of NLC, especially members of the National Administrative Council, NAC, the go-ahead to meet, fix a date for the commencement of the indefinite strike and communicate to the state councils and industrial union affiliates.
“I can tell you that the leadership will meet next week and fix a date for the strike. However, if NAC members are convinced that the government has addressed our demands to an appreciable level, in such a case, the leadership will still call the organs to brief them of the development.”
The source, however, said available information revealed that the government team is working seriously to avert another round of industrial unrest by NLC.
He said further that both the minister of finance, and the vice president, who is standing in for the President who is attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Summit in New York were considering some figures.
The source said, “So they know the seriousness of the planned action and some of them are speaking out boldly that they are not afraid because of the package they have for workers.
“Available information is that the government will soon announce what it has. They are really making efforts and again the President is not in the country.
“What we don’t know is whether what they have will be enough for NLC to consider or not. In the past two to three days, the vice president has been meeting with some of the government team to come up with something.”
The source disclosed that the leadership of NLC had said it would not be part of any meeting if there were no tangible packages for workers.