The Federal Government will meet with members of organized labour on Monday in an attempt to avert a statewide strike planned by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
The NLC, on the other hand, has recommended residents stock their houses with food, medications, and other necessities ahead of the start of its seven-day strike to protest the withdrawal of gasoline subsidies and the rising cost of living in the country.
The warning was issued because the strike will cripple the country by significantly restricting travel as commercial transport firms withdraw their services, forcing markets, schools, and healthcare institutions to close.
NLC Assistant General Secretary Chris Onyeka stated that residents should likewise limit their movements to prevent becoming trapped, reports said.
The NLC has issued the government a seven-day ultimatum, with a statewide strike set to begin on Wednesday, August 2, 2023. In a statement signed by its National President, Joe Ajaero, the labour movement accused the Tinubu-led Federal Government of failing to meet the demands it made following the removal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, which caused an astronomical rise in the commodity’s pump price, Chronicle NG reports.
Following the NLC’s strike declaration, the government team promptly called for an emergency meeting with organized labour, including the NLC and Trade Union Congress, with a follow-up meeting in the State House on Friday.
However, after the reported failure of the government team to appear, officials of organized labour stormed out of the conference in rage.
Onyeka stated that the labour delegation will meet with the government on Monday, with the conclusion determining the next move.
“Nigerians should be prepared,” he urged. That’s exactly what we’re saying. Being prepared entails stocking food in your home and being thrifty with your mobility at this time to prevent becoming trapped. It will be a countrywide demonstration, and we are confident that it will influence every part of the country. We are actively mobilizing around the country. We are now working alongside the CSOS at the secretariat.
“We may not shut down the power supply system, but depending on the government’s response, we may shut down other places.” The Friday meeting was cancelled. The administration was unprepared. Representatives were unavailable. They didn’t appear to be taking their work seriously. We hold conversations as one of our activities. We don’t leave the table whenever they summon us. We’ll be meeting with them again on Monday.”
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the National Union of Electricity Employees confirmed on Saturday that they were mobilizing their members to shut down the supply of fuel and the national electricity grid beginning on Wednesday in response to the NLC’s planned mass protest.
Tommy Etim, National Deputy President of the TUC, chastised the government for its lack of sincerity in the discussions thus far.
“When we arrived at the Villa on Friday, we waited at the gate for almost two hours for clearance with no intervention.” We were only permitted in after two hours. By the time we reached the meeting’s location, we noticed that the team representing the government had not arrived. So it is incorrect to imply that labour stormed out of the conference. How can workers storm out of a non-existent meeting? “We were very disappointed because this was not what we expected from the government,” he explained.
The National Executive Council of the NLC backed the August 2 statewide strike and mass protests called by the organisation in response to the recent increase in the price of gasoline at the pump.
However, the Federal Government informed the NLC that it was legally barred from starting the planned countrywide strike owing to a National Industrial Court judgement that barred organized labour from going on strike.
Members of the steering committee met with the government delegation on Wednesday, and the two sides decided to meet again on Friday to hear from the government’s subcommittees on public transportation, compressed natural gas, and cash transfers.
The Federal Government established the steering group to develop intervention strategies to mitigate the consequences of the elimination of fuel subsidies for Nigerians.