Strike: Why Labour didn’t attend meeting with FG

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Ahead of the October 3 commencement of indefinite strike by organized labour, the meeting convened by the Federal Government with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, could not hold as a result of the short notice given to labour.

The Federal Government had invited the leadership of the two labour centers for a meeting on Friday at the Presidential Villa Abuja over the proposed strike.

The meeting did not hold as many of the labour leaders were said to have left Abuja before the invitation for the meeting was received.

A highly placed source privy to the labour struggle told Vanguard that the notice for the meeting emanating from the Ministry of Labour and Employment was received at about 10 am on Friday which was about two hours to the scheduled time.

According to the source: “We got notice for the meeting about 10 am and it was scheduled to take place at the State House by 12pm. As at the time we got the invitation, the majority of the leaders had left Abuja to their various states.

“I think that the government was not prepared to meet with us. How can you fix a meeting by 12 pm and send the invitation or notice for the meeting by 10 am, just about two hours before the scheduled time?

“You are aware that many of the leaders of the two labour centers are not living in Abuja and many of them had left before the invitation came.
“One thing we know is that we are always ready to meet with the government to negotiate in the interest of the country and the masses.

“We cannot refuse to dialogue and negotiate with the government but we have not seen any seriousness on the side of the government instead, it is only intimidation, blackmail and sponsoring of groups to attack labour.

“Since the removal of petrol subsidy by the government, Nigerians are passing through hardship and things are getting worse on a daily basis. It’s difficult for people to eat a square meal every day and workers cannot afford the high transportation price with the N30,000 minimum wage.

“There is no palliative to cushion the effect of the harsh economic condition the government has subjected the masses to. What we have been getting from the government in the past four months that the rash decision was taken is promises and intimidation. Are we going to continue to live like that?”

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