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NLC denies reaching agreement with FG to suspend strike

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The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, denied on Thursday engaging into any agreement with the Federal Government to postpone the scheduled indefinite strike, which is set to begin on October 3.

Recall that organized labour, comprised of the NLC and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, announced on Tuesday that workers will go on indefinite strike over the government’s inability to offer palliatives to mitigate the impact of the elimination of petrol subsidies.

According to some sections of the media, Mr. Olajide Oshundun, Director of Press, Ministry of Labour and Employment, said there was an agreement between organized labour and the government to defer the intended strike.

Though Oshundun later denied claiming so, the NLC stated that there was no agreement and that the government had neither invited or set a date to meet with the union about the scheduled strike.

NLC in a statement issued by its Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, said, “The press statement issued by the Director of Press, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr Olajide Oshundun on our proposed strike action and illegal occupation of the secretariat of the National Union of Road Transport Workers has been brought to our attention. We note some inconsistencies.

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“Accordingly, we find it necessary to make clarifications. Firstly, we do not have any agreement with  the government to suspend the planned strike action. Neither do we have any date for a meeting with government that may lead to  the suspension of the proposed strike.

“While we do not intend to demean or minimise the office of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, this matter is beyond the Ministry. This  should have been obvious to them during our most recent meeting.

“Secondly, while we appreciate the role played by the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Barrister Simon Lalong in securing the release of the executives of the National Union of Road Transport Workers from unlawful/illegal police detention, we take exception to the Ministry describing these executives as factional leaders.

“They were lawfully elected into office. We still find it necessary to advise the police and those elements  behind their travails to desist from this  despicable and shameful conduct. They are advised to retrace their steps.

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