A last-ditch attempt to stop a strike fails On Friday, an emergency meeting with the Federal Government that was scheduled at 3pm at the Presidential Villa in Abuja was boycotted by organized labor, which is made up of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.

    The Federal Government convened an urgent meeting with representatives of organized labor in the conference room of the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President. ahead of strike

    Read also>>> Labour protests As the FG accuses union leaders of disobidient

    nlc strike
    nlc strike

    On September 26, the NLC and TUC announced their intention to begin an indefinite strike on October 3 in protest of the rising cost of living following President Bola Tinubu’s elimination of the gasoline subsidy during his inauguration on May 29, 2023.

    Additionally, the unions instructed their state chapters and affiliates to organize for the nationwide closure of vital infrastructure, including airports, seaports, energy grids, and gasoline supplies.

    The union leaders declared in a joint statement on Tuesday that there would be a complete shutdown “until the government satisfies the demand of Nigerian workers, and in fact, Nigerian masses.”

    The Federal Government was charged with refusing to “meaningfully engage and reach agreements with organized labor on critical issues of the consequences of the unfortunate hike in the price of petrol, which has unleashed massive suffering on Nigerian workers and masses.”

    strike fails
    strike fails

    The Federal Government pleaded with the unions to continue negotiations after Thursday’s National Economic Council meeting, warning that an indefinite strike at this time could destroy the economy.

    Although the government scheduled a meeting for Friday at noon, it was postponed until around 3 p.m. to allow labor to speak with its leaders outside of Abuja.

    According to information obtained by Saturday PUNCH, the government sent the invitation to the meeting on Friday morning via the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

    It was also reported that the Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong, was in the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, even though light refreshments were placed on the table to indicate an anticipated meeting, the Conference Room was empty by 4pm because the labor representatives had not yet arrived.

    According to a source who spoke anonymously to Saturday PUNCH, “They (labour representatives) are meant to be here by now. Since then, we had been expecting them. The Minister of Labor and the Chief of Staff are waiting upstairs at the prepared location.

    Gbajabiamila was seen leaving the Villa grounds at 5 o’clock. He was rumored to be making his way to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to await President Tinubu’s flight from Paris.

    The National Deputy President of the TUC, Tommy Etim, criticized purported efforts by the Federal Government to use the courts to prevent organized labor from beginning an indefinite nationwide strike on Tuesday, according to The PUNCH on Friday.

    He reaffirmed that labor leaders will resist any pressure from the government and that they were willing to go to jail to further the cause of better working conditions for Nigerians.

    Etim’s outburst comes in the wake of a warning from Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, that the intended strike would be in violation of an active court order prohibiting the unions from announcing an industrial action.

    The labor leaders could not be reached on the phone, so attempts to find out why they boycotted the meeting with government officials were unsuccessful.

    Labor unions have opposed Tinubu’s plan to end the decades-old subsidy that kept fuel prices low but used up government funds from the beginning of his administration.

    Mohammed Idris, the minister of information and national orientation, stated in a conversation with one of our reporters on Thursday that the administration was working to find solutions to the problems brought up by organized labor.

    “We are speaking with the labor force, and we are hoping that our discussions will result in a successful resolution of the problems so that the strike can be avoided. Everyone will not benefit from a strike, he said.

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