Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) across 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have concluded arrangements to meet on Tuesday with a view to deciding on whether to declare a total shutdown of the economy.
This is just as the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, again appealed to the organised labour not to paralyse economy of the country with its proposed indefinite strike, saying he has already resolved one of the most critical demands of the Congress.
In an interview with Daily Trust Monday night, Lalong said, so far he was able to deliver on the first promise which was the release of the detained members of executive of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), he would also work and deliver on other demands.
Lalong, who spoke through the spokesman of the ministry, Olajide Oshundun, maintained that the ministry had never relaxed in ensuring that good working environment is provided for workers across length and breadth of the country.
The minister, who re-emphasised his appeal to the organised labour said the government would soon make a pronouncement on the new wage award for workers, saying the NLC should give little time rather than paralysing the economy.
“We have not stopped on our roles. The federal government has not relegated its roles and responsibilities in ensuring peaceful working environment and the government has been appealing to the NLC to give some little time for the issues to be resolved.
“You would recall that when the NLC delegation came, the first two major items on their list was the release of the NURTW members of executive that were arrested and detained. The second one is the wage award.
“The Honourable minister promised them and he delivered on the first one. He personally visited the office of the Inspector-General of Police last week twice and secured the release of the detained NURTW workers.
“In fact, today (Monday), the released officers, led by their Chairman, Tajudeen Baruwa, came to the the ministry to appreciate the two ministers because two of them jointed visited the IGP.
“So, the federal government is reaching out to labour to appeal to them, to give the government a few more weeks. A pronouncement would be made with the regard to the second issue which is the wage award,” Oshundun told our correspondent.
The decision of NLC on indefinite strike, which would be taken at its emergency meeting is coming on the heels of the expiration of an ultimatum given to the federal government to resolve all issues surrounding removal of fuel subsidy.
Daily Trust reports that the organised labour during its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on August 31 threatened to embark on a total and indefinite shutdown of the country within 21 days if the demands presented to the government weren’t resolved.
However, the national leadership of the NLC in a fresh notice for another emergency meeting signed by the General Secretary of the NLC, Emmanuel Ugboaja, called on all its affiliates and the State chapters to participate in the “crucial emergency meeting”.
“I bring you fraternal greetings from the Congress headquarters. You’re invited to the Emergency National Executive Council virtual meeting of the Nigeria Labour Congress scheduled as follows: Tuesday, 26th September 2023. Time: 12:00noon,” the notice read.