14-day nationwide strike imminent as Lalong asks NLC to wait for Tinubu to return from India

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The 14-day nationwide strike declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) might likely start tomorrow, September 7, 2023, after  Simon Lalong, minister of labour and employment, asked the union to wait until President Bola Ahmed Tinubu returns from India.

Tinubu is currently in New Delhi for the G20 summit which will come to an end on Sunday, September 10, 2023.

On September 1, Joe Ajaero, NLC president, announced that the union would embark on a two-day warning strike on Tuesday over the impact of petrol subsidy removal on the masses.

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On Monday, Lalong appealed to the NLC to suspend the proposed warning strike.

Lalong said such a strike would be detrimental to the gains being recorded by the new administration.

Speaking on Tuesday during a Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) programme, the minister assured the NLC that when Tinubu returns to the country, issues that led to the strike would be resolved.

“As of now, I did not receive any formal notice of strike. I only saw strike actions taking place. According to the NLC, the two-day warning strike is to prepare for a 14-day strike,” Lalong said.

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“Even before 14 days, when the president comes back from India, I am sure many of those issues that were raised, I promise we will handle them before the 14 days.

“So, there was no need to even engage in the two-day strike because the purpose of engaging in the strike was because there was no attention as far as they were concerned, given to them.

“But at that period, the cabinet was not in place and I said certain issues would require the cabinet to take a decision. There were also issues about the wage reward which according to them, Mr. President promised.


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“I said to them, the president just travelled. We pray the he returns safely and then we will now continue from where he left and I also appealed to them.

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“Their complaints were that it is taking too long, government was not reaching out to them and I said no, it was because the president was also busy trying to assemble the cabinet because there were no cabinet ministers in place.

“Now that the cabinet ministers are in place, I am your minister.

“You have tabled it before me formally so that I can now proceed and reach out to the president to see whether we have failed.

“You have not tabled the matter before me. You are jumping into conclusion that the matter would not be handled, which is quite unfortunate as far as I am concerned because we are supposed to be brothers, we are supposed to be friends.

“And if you table it before me, wait and see whether we can handle it or not.”

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