The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday, September 18, issued a strike notice and fresh demands to the government.
NLC noted that failure to meet the fresh demands will lead to a fierce countrywide workers’ strike.
The labour movement is demanding salary increases, tax exemptions and allowances to public sector workers, and a reduction of the cost of governance.
Other demands include the release of modalities for N70 billion for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the release of officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers.
At the same time, officials of the labour congress led by Joe Ajaero have maintained that they have given the government enough time to address their grievances.
“Our 21-day ultimatum will expire this Friday, September 22. Recall that we issued the ultimatum on September 1, 2023. So, Comrade Ajaero has made that point clear, that the government has up till Friday to address our demands or risk another round of industrial unrest,” said Ajaero.
On the other hand, the Minister of Labour Simon Lalong who held a meeting with NLC officials, insisted that the government needed more time to address their demands.
Consequently, Ajaero responded by telling the Labour Minister to address the demands within the remaining days.
“So, it is up to the government to meet our demands before Friday. After Friday, NLC will take any industrial action it deems appropriate to respond to the demand of the time,” Ajaero narrated.
Earlier, Lalong together with the Minister of State, Nkeiruka Onyejecha, had told NLC that the government appreciated the role it played in championing the rights and welfare of workers in the country.
The two ministers also pleaded for cooperation and understanding, saying efforts were being made to sort out the workers’ issues.
Speaking during a press briefing after the meeting, Ajaero lamented the lack of trust between the government and NLC.
“The strike is an effect of a policy that doesn’t have a human face. There was no strike notice before the removal of fuel subsidy,” he said.
“There is the issue of CNG, refineries working, wage award and cash transfer. Of all these agreements, not even one has been addressed by the government and you want us to meet every day,” he added.