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Strike: FG, NLC meeting ends in deadlock



The meeting between the Federal Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) ended in a deadlock without any resolution to the demands of the union.

According to reports, the meeting which was held on Monday to avert the imminent indefinite strike which the union had threatened to embark on, was scheduled for another day.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong; and Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, met with the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, and other leaders in Abuja in an effort to stop organised labour from embarking on another industrial action.

Lalong is also expected to meet with the representatives of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) led by its national president, Festus Osifo, later Today.

Lalong had invited the leaders of the union to a meeting in his office in Abuja following the NLC’s threat of indefinite strike action over what the Labour Centre tagged as “anti-poor” policies propagated by the President Bola Tinubu-led administration.

The meeting had in attendance senior officials of the ministry, the national president of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, the general secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, national president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Titus Amba among others.

However, it was reported that no concrete solution was made nor was any major decision reached at the end of the meeting.

During the meeting, Lalong promised to partner with organised labour to address the demands of the labour unions in a just and balanced way.

He urged the NLC to adopt dialogue as the primary method for addressing concerns surrounding the removal of subsidy on petrol and appealed to the labour leaders to be realistic and frank in the discussions.

The minister also expressed optimism that the meeting would lead to a resolution that is of national interest.

In his response, NLC President Joe Ajaero said his team was in the meeting with mixed feelings, to find out whether “something will happen or not,” as many similar meetings in the past had failed to yield a positive response.

He further noted that the past strikes that the minister referred to were a result of the frustration Nigerian workers faced due to the effects of the hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidies.

He noted that not one of the agreements with the Federal Government was addressed despite a series of meetings that were held.

The NLC had earlier shunned a meeting arranged by the minister to avert an earlier two-day nationwide strike. However, only the TUC showed up for the meeting.