Labour has persisted on holding tomorrow’s strike to protest the increased hardship and rising expenses of living caused by the elimination of the petrol subsidy.
This is despite President Bola Tinubu’s assurances last night in a countrywide broadcast that the Federal Government and labour unions were working to establish a new minimum wage benchmark for Nigerian employees.
According to Tinubu, the government would make budgetary allocations for the implementation of the new minimum wage as soon as the parties involved reach an agreement.
This comes as the Presidential Steering Committee on Palliative Care had yet another marathon meeting with representatives of Nigeria’s Organised Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting on Monday, which began at 5:30 p.m., heard presentations from FG’s subcommittees on public transportation, compressed natural gas (CNG), and cash transfers, which the government had recommended to mitigate the impact of subsidy elimination.
Labour leaders rushed out of a meeting last Friday, believing the administration was not prepared to negotiate.
NLC President Joe Ajaero, TUC counterpart Festus Osifo, NLC General Secretary Emma Ugbaja, TUC Secretary Nuhu Toro, and other members of the organised labour delegation, including Prof. Sam Amadi, were present at yesterday’s meeting.
Speaking about the strike’s preparations, NLC Assistant General Secretary Chris Onyeka said workers were ready to speak truth to power, calling Nigerians to come out in force and be a part of the movement for a better nation.
The Congress had met with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to fill up gaps and strategise on ensuring that objectives of the nationwide strike is achieved.
“If all of our demands are met, why are we still on strike?” he said. But the President must first speak with them before we even consider calling off the strike.
As a result, “we are not considering stopping the strike until the government fulfils its share.”