According to the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), there is no fixed date for a dialogue with the federal government that could avert the planned strike action starting from next Tuesday.
The organised labour also declared its readiness to mobilise all its affiliates and members nationwide to ensure full compliance to the strike declaration, until its demands are met.
The NLC, through its Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, on Thursday stated that the issues at stake were beyond the scope of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, adding that it did not intend to disrespect the Minister, Simon Lalong.
“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,” Upah said.
He expressed gratitude to Lalong for his intervention in freeing the NURTW executives who were detained by the police in what he called an “unjust or illegal” manner. However, he objected to the Ministry’s characterization of the executives as factional leaders.
Upah added, “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.
“If democracy is to be of meaning to us, then we should resist the urge or temptation for impunity. Enough is enough.”
Meanwhile, the planned nationwide strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 has received the backing of the United Action Front of Civil Society, a coalition of civil society organisations and activists working on governance and democracy issues.
The labour unions have issued the ultimatum to the federal government to address their grievances or face a total shutdown of the economy. The civil society groups have pledged their full support for the labour movement and vowed to mobilise their members for the strike action.