Strike: Labour leaders to consult after meeting with FG
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have agreed to consult with their members after meeting Wednesday with the Federal Government delegation at the Office of the National Security Adviser, in Abuja.
This is coming as the labour unions commenced a nationwide strike from midnight on November 13, to protest the brutalisation of the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, in Imo State on 1 November,
The union had vowed to continue with the strike until “government at all levels wake up to their responsibilities”.
Those at the meeting were Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, Minister of State Nkeiruka Onyeajeocha and NSA Nuhu Ribadu, President of the TUC, Festus Usifo and NLC Secretary General, Emmanuel Ugboaja and other Labour leaders.
Asked the outcome of the meeting with the Labour leaders, Lalong explained that the meeting which was a result of what happened in Imo State, held at the office of the NSA because of heavy security considerations.
He said: “The meeting was in respect of the incident that happened in Imo and the meeting came under very heavy security considerations, that’s why we brought the meeting to the office of the National Security Adviser.
“All the Labour leaders were also here with us, we had a very fruitful discussion, which were very genuine and very frank, which they have agreed to take back home to their constituents, with a plea to lift the strike so that we can continue with our deliberations.”
On if commitments have been obtained from the Labour leaders, he said: “It’s an ongoing discussion.”
Asked how soon will the strike be called off, he said: “That’s left for the Labour to decide, but from the discussions, we don’t expect the strike to last long again.”
Also speaking to journalists at the venue of the meeting, Usifo described the discussions as robust and assurances were given.
He said: “We just came for a meeting the NSA invited us for and as you can see, the two ministers from the Ministry of Labour and Employment also participated.
“So we had some robust conversations where a lot of assurances were given, in furtherance to the release that was done this morning by the NSA that some people have been apprehended and that they will coordinate the investigation.
“We also told him our part of the story and all, but at the end of the day, they made several appeals to us and several promises on what they are going to do and the ones that they have already done.
“So we said we’ll go back to reappraise the conversations that we have had and we’ll communicate accordingly.”
On when the strike will be called off, Usifo said: “The strike was caused by something, it’s a symptom of a problem and it’s a problem that we came here now to have a conversation on and with all the assurances that they have given us, with the office of the NSA promising to coordinate everything, so every discussion we have had here, I mean if you can see us, how many of us are here? We need to take it (the discussions) back, we’ll look at it, we’ll examine it and take a decision.”