FG, Labour meet to avert Oct. 3 strike

President Bola Tinubu

The meeting between the Federal Government and the labour unions have started at the Presidential Villa, Abuja with the aim of averting the industrial action planned by the unions.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a scheduled meeting at the villa on Friday was cancelled when the unions failed to show up.

The Nigeria Labour Union (NLC) and the Trade union Congress (TUC) have declared Tuesday to begin an indefinite strike over the issue of fuel subsidy removal palliatives.

NAN reports that causes of strike in Nigeria have been linked to when employees perceived that they were not being treated fairly with respect to pay and condition of service.

According to a blog by Shakespeare Martineau strikes can be prevented through fair pay, good working conditions and clear Human Resources procedures which ensure that employees feel valued.

In response to the labour demands, President Bola Tinubu on Sunday announced a wage increment for workers in the country as well as the deployment of Compressed Natural Gas buses to ease cost of transportation.

Tinubu said: ‘’Based on our talks with labour, business and other stakeholders, we are introducing a provisional wage increment to enhance the federal minimum wage without causing undue inflation.

‘’For the next six months, the average low-grade worker shall receive an additional Twenty-Five Thousand Naira per month.

‘’These buses will operate at a fraction of current fuel prices, positively affecting transport fares. New CNG conversions kits will start coming in very soon as all hands are on deck to fast track the usually lengthy procurement process.

‘’We are also setting up training facilities and workshops across the nation to train and provide new opportunities for transport operators and entrepreneurs.’’

The president said in a broadcast that government was committed to relieving the hardship faced by Nigerians, adding that various measures had been taken by all tiers of government to mitigate them.

Tinubu added: ‘’There is no joy in seeing the people of this nation shoulder burdens that should have been shed years ago.

“I wish today’s difficulties did not exist. But we must endure if we are to reach the good side of our future.

‘’We have embarked on several public sector reforms to stabilize the economy, direct fiscal and monetary policy to fight inflation, encourage production, ensure the security of lives and property and lend more support to the poor and the vulnerable.

‘’To ensure better grassroots development, we set up an Infrastructure Support Fund for states to invest in critical areas. States have already received funds to provide relief packages against the impact of rising food and other prices.”

Sunday’s meeting holding at the Chief of Staff’s Conference Room at the villa is expected to come out with resolutions much awaited by Nigerians to stop the impending industrial strike which several chapters of the unions have pledged to join on Tuesday.

The meeting has in attendance from the government side the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, Minister of Labour and Employment Simon Lalong, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Nkiruka Onyejeocha.

Others are Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris as well ministers of Budget and National Planning Atiku Bagudu, Finance Wale Adun and that of Trade, Investment and Industry, Doris Uzoka-Anite.(NAN)