By Tambaya Julius
The Federal Government, represented by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, has made a heartfelt appeal to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to reconsider its proposed 2-day nationwide warning strike due to the prevailing economic difficulties.
The NLC had previously communicated its intentions through a communique issued at the conclusion of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, announcing the plan for a 2-day nationwide warning strike scheduled to take place from September 5th to September 6th.
Furthermore, the NLC hinted at the possibility of an indefinite nationwide strike within either 14 or 21 working days, counting from the date of the communique, unless the Federal Government took substantial measures to alleviate the hardship faced by Nigerians.
Minister Simon Lalong expressed grave concerns regarding the potential consequences of this impending industrial action.
He emphasized that it could reverse some of the progress achieved under the current administration.
He stated, “It has become imperative to appeal to the NLC’s leadership to reconsider their decision to embark on a two-day warning strike.
Such an action could jeopardize the advancements we’ve made towards securing a brighter future for Nigerian workers and citizens as a whole.”
The minister further requested that the NLC leadership grant the government sufficient time to comprehensively address the issues at hand.
He pointed out that the newly appointed cabinet members had recently assumed their roles, actively receiving briefings from their respective Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
Hence, it was crucial to understand that some of the NLC’s concerns were in the process of being addressed.
Minister Lalong affirmed the government’s unwavering commitment to Nigerian workers, assuring them that their support and understanding were highly valued.
He reaffirmed the administration’s dedication to implementing policies aimed at generating substantial employment opportunities across all sectors of the economy.
However, he stressed the importance of achieving these goals within an atmosphere of industrial harmony.
Addressing the NLC’s communication procedures, Minister Lalong noted that he had not yet received the official communication of the NLC communique following its NEC meeting, as required by law.
He urged the NLC to adhere to established processes for handling such matters, considering that the government’s cabinet was fully operational.
He pledged that all concerns raised by the NLC would be thoroughly examined and addressed.
Minister Lalong conveyed his sympathy, along with President Bola Tinubu’s government, to Nigerians and particularly to the workers.
He acknowledged the challenges stemming from the removal of petrol subsidies and other government policies aimed at rejuvenating the nation’s prospects.
He concluded with a final plea, “In light of these matters, I would like to reiterate my appeal to the NLC’s leadership to suspend the warning strike and any future actions.
Let us work together to find amicable resolutions to these issues rather than embarking on actions that could further exacerbate the hardships faced by the citizens of Nigeria.”
Minister Lalong also announced that the government would be convening a meeting with the NLC at 3 p.m. on Monday to foster dialogue and cooperation in resolving these critical issues.