Fg,Labour’s agreement is in doubt, and Lalong is accused of violating its terms

    The agreement between the Federal Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress, or NLC, on the implementation of steps to mitigate the impact of the elimination of gasoline subsidies is currently under threat, and a statewide strike is imminent.

    The NLC charged Simon Lalong, the Minister of Labor and Employment, of breaking the terms of the agreement yesterday.

    Remember that on October 2, 2023, Organized Labor—which is made up of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC)—agreed to pay N35,000 wage award to federal workers and guarantee that the government would not interfere with the NURTW’s operations. As a result, Organized Labor suspended its planned nationwide strike.

    Attempts to contact Simon Lalong, the Minister of Labor and Employment, via his cell phone yesterday were unsuccessful as calls went unanswered.

    But since the ministry was not copied, Mr. Olajide Oshundun, the Director of Press in the Ministry, claimed he had not read the NLC statement.

    “I will discuss it with my minister to respond appropriately if I see the statement,” he declared. I can’t say anything right now until I see the statement.

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    However, the NLC said that in defiance of both the agreement made between the government and labor as well as ILO Conventions 87 and 98, the labor minister was attempting to impose a new leadership on the NURTW.

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    In less than two weeks, the 30-day window for the agreement to materialize in order to prevent a national strike will expire.

    The NLC promised to support the democratically elected NURTW leadership and collaborate with them as the rightful representatives of workers in the transportation industry in a statement released by General Secretary Emmanuel Ugboaja.

    The Labour Centre claims that the minister’s present attempt to back out of the agreement with the Federal Government is a blatant sign that the government is not negotiating in good faith.

    It declared that all possible measures would be taken to protect the trade union movement from what it perceived as growing irresponsibility.

    “In a shocking turn of events, the Federal Minister of Labor, Mr. Lalong, has thrown a spanner in the works of the implementation of the Labour-Federal Government Agreement by his unmasked partiality in handling a critical item in the agreement, which is the apparent government meddling in trade union matters by siding with people who had illegally seized the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, headquarters with police support,” the statement titled “Minister Lalong’s reckless move to undermine the critical labor-federal government agreement of October 2, 2023” said.

    In order to give credibility to their actions, this group is now being urged to hold its own delegates’ conferences at the national and zonal levels.

    “This egregious act not only violates ILO Conventions 87 and 98 by constituting an egregious intrusion into a union’s internal affairs, but it also clearly demonstrates an attempt to undermine the recently ratified agreement between the labor movement and the Federal Government.”

    “It is incomprehensible that a federal minister of labor, entrusted with defending the rights and interests of various stakeholders in our field of industrial relations, would choose to undertake measures that may jeopardize the fundamental basis of our joint endeavor.”The minister’s decision represents a depressing divergence from the accepted standards of behaviour within the country’s industrial relations field and is obviously ethically and legally repugnant.

    Even though the minister first gave assurances about the illegal occupation of the NURTW national headquarters, Comrade Tajudeen Baruwa, the leader of the legally elected leadership, has not been reinstated.


    ”Rather, the minister has opted to support and legitimize this state-sponsored hijacking. The concepts of democratic governance are being insulted by this obvious attempt to seize power at the expense of lawfulness and morality.

    “It is now very evident that the federal government was never truly committed to upholding the parameters of the October 2, 2023 Agreement and that the negotiations were never conducted in good faith.

    This confirms what we suspected earlier—that the state was attempting to stage a coup against the democratically elected NURTW leadership—and that Minister Lalong’s actions and remarks may have implied official support.

    “The government’s objectives regarding the implementation of the October 2, 2023, Agreement are clear to both the Nigerian public and us. It is clear that, similar to the NURTW problem, the implementation of other aspects of the agreement could be in danger.

    We thus pay attention to Minister Lalong’s activities, which blatantly contravene a deal that has been responsibly supported by all parties.

    “We restate and stress the following points: the Lagos group, who were members of the lands, parks, and garages commission in Lagos State, not the NURTW, were the ones who helped the federal government, acting through the Police, engineer the NURTW leadership crisis and force the union to occupy its Abuja headquarters.

    The leadership of Comrade Tajudeen Baruwa was chosen democratically and upheld ILO conventions, national laws, and union bylaws.

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