The Federal Government under President Bola Ahmed and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have agreed to give the government two weeks to address some of the grievances of the Congress.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Solomon Lalong, disclosed this in Abuja at the end of a meeting with the leadership of the Trade Union Congress, led by its President, Comrade Festus Osifo.
The meeting was convened by the Minister to resolve TUC’s and Nigeria Labour Congress’ differences with government and to avert the pending warning strike by organised labour.
According to Lalong, the issues for which a two-week timeline was set for their resolution include wage awards for federal civil servants to cushion the effect of rising poverty among them, and tax exemption for a certain level of workers, both in the public and private sectors.
The Minister said that after the two weeks, the meeting would reconvene for further discussions. He added that the parties understood that some of the issues were urgent, while some would require a long span of time to resolve.
The President of the TUC, Comrade Festus Osifo, stated that the two-week timeline was reasonable, as it would give government ample time to address the issues. He disclosed that at the commencement of the meeting, the leadership of the TUC was pushing for a one-week timeline for the resolution of issues in dispute, but had to reconsider after weighing government’s constraints.
The Minister had earlier implored the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to suspend its planned two-day warning strike which began on September 5th, as such action would be detrimental to the gains already recorded by government in securing a greater future for Nigerian workers and citizens.
He urged the leadership of the NLC to give the government some time to address the issues raised holistically. The Minister reassured Nigerian workers that government would never take them for granted nor fail to appreciate their support and understanding.
The TUC has also called on its members to remain calm and law-abiding during the two-week period. The Congress said that it would continue to engage with the government to ensure that their demands are met.