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Labour strike: FG urges NLC to embrace dialogue

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NLC protest

The Federal Government, on Monday, urged the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to adopt dialogue as the primary method for addressing concerns surrounding the removal of the petrol subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

Simon Lalong, the Minister of Labour, shared this information during his introductory remarks at the gathering between government delegates and the NLC.

Lalong, in the company of the Minister of State for Labour, Nkeiru Onyejeocha, and ministry personnel, expressed his gratitude to the Labour Centre for heeding the ministry’s invitation.

Continuing his statement, the former governor of Plateau State emphasized his willingness to cooperate with union members in the quest for lasting resolutions that would bring benefits to all Nigerians.

He said,

  • “In recent months, our country has witnessed teething challenges, marked by industrial actions and unrest that have adversely affected the economy.
  • I appear before you today not just as a representative of the government, but as an advocate for constructive dialogue, aspiring to understand your concerns and working hand in hand to find lasting solutions that benefit all Nigerians.
  • “I fully acknowledge and appreciate the invaluable role the NLC plays in championing the rights and welfare of our workers.
  • Your dedication and tireless advocacy have been critical in shaping a fair and inclusive work environment and ensuring the well-being of our workforce.
  • We acknowledge the valid grievances that have fueled the recent labour crisis, and we are committed to addressing them in a just and equitable manner.
  • “We must also recognize the economic realities that confront us. As we address the concerns of our workforce, we must be mindful of striking a balance that promotes economic growth and secures sustainable progress for our nation.
  • Today, I call upon each one of you to join hands in an open-minded and constructive dialogue, enabling us to bridge any gaps that may exist between the interests of workers and the ultimate goal of driving economic advancement.
  • “In the spirit of unity and with utmost commitment to the betterment of our nation, let us seize this opportunity to listen and understand one another.
  • Together, let us explore innovative approaches, reimagining strategies that enhance working conditions and worker benefits while nurturing a robust economy.
  • “I am confident that this gathering will produce resolutions that propel our labour sector towards greater strength, and our beloved country towards a brighter future.
  • We eagerly look forward to our discussions today, knowing that the harmonious collaboration between the government and the NLC will facilitate an environment where our workforce thrives, and our economy flourishes.”

Backstory

Amidst growing concerns of an indefinite strike, it was widely reported that the Minister had proactively reached out to the officials of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to schedule a meeting today.

Earlier, NLC and its affiliated unions recently initiated a two-day nationwide strike aimed at voicing their concerns regarding what they perceive as the implementation of “anti-poor” policies under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu.


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