The Federal Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have agreed to continue talks over post-subsidy removal palliatives for workers before the 21-day ultimatum issued by the NLC.
Both also pledged to find solutions to key demands tabled before the government by organised labour before the deadline. Simon Lalong, Minister of Labour and Employment said this while addressing newsmen at the end of a closed door meeting with the NLC on Monday in Abuja.
The meeting was called by the minister to avert the organised labour’s planned strike and other issues. It would be recalled that the NLC had threatened to embark on strike from Sept. 21, over untold hardship on the masses due to the removal of fuel subsidy.
According to him, we had a fruitful discussions on many of the items, that the NLC had been tabled previously before the Federal Government.
“Many of the items presented by Labour were still under consideration before the final agreement,” he said.
The minister however, said that the Federal Government’s commitment to addressing the concerns of workers as raised by the NLC. He noted that the government acknowledge the valid grievances that had fuelled the recent crisis , and were committed to addressing the issues in just equitable manner.
He also urged the NLC to also consider the economic reality of the nation, as they take actions in ensuring the wellbeing of workers.
He called on organised labour to work with government to explore strategies that would enhance working conditions and benefits of workers while also nurturing a robust economy.
“Today, I call upon each one of you to join hands in an open-minded and constructive dialogue.
“This will enable us to bridge any gaps that may exist between the interests of workers and the ultimate goal of driving economic advancement,” Lalong noted.
Joe Ajaero, NLC Pesident said that both parties have agreed to continue to deliberate to arrive at a meaningful agreement before the ultimatum ends.
According to Ajaero, we equally discussed frankly the issue bordering the coup floated and executed by the Nigeria Police against the National Union of Road Transport Workers.
“That has led to the detention of their democratically elected national officers and both parties agreed to show concern towards the resolution of the matter.
“On the other issue you can see that there is no agreement or implementation on any. There is no CNG anywhere.
“Refineries are not working. No agreement on wage award. Those are the issues we believe that something will happen before the ultimatum expires. It is possible that something will happen.
“We had a convivial deliberation with the minister and we hope that even if it is remaining one day we will get to the root of all these problems,” he stated.
He added that, whenever we are invited we will be there. Both parties will work towards the realisation of these objectives before the last minute of the ultimatum.