FG, NLC meeting deadlocked, workers insist on demands

Both parties pledge to find solutions to key issues

FG, NLC meeting deadlocked, workers insist on demands
Far Left, Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong; Far Right, President of NLC, Joe Ajaero

By Tony Emele

The Federal Government on Monday held a meeting with organised labour on post-subsidy removal palliatives for workers as part of efforts to beat the deadline for the planned commencement of an indefinite strike that may lead to the shutdown of the economy. 

The parley, hosted by the Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong, in Abuja, however, failed to reach a consensus as the Nigerian Labour Congress insisted that the government must meet its demands ahead of the 21-day ultimatum issued on September 1 by the congress. 

The union had on September 1st handed down the 21-day ultimatum to the government over the delay in sharing of palliatives, saying it might be compelled to declare an indefinite labour action if its demands were not met. 

In furtherance of its demands, the NLC mobilised workers for a two-day warning strike on September 5 and 6, partially grounding social and economic activities in several states with banks, ministries, agencies and departments closed to the public in some states. 

Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting on Monday, both parties pledged to find solutions to the key demands tabled before the government by the organised labour before the deadline. 

 Lalong said many of the items presented by Labour were still under consideration before the final agreement. 

The President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, also described the meeting as fruitful but said only the Presidency could take decisions on the demands presented to the government. 

Ajaero said the organised labour was ready to meet with the government any time of the day to find solutions to its demands and avert the planned strike.