The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has confirmed its willingness to engage in dialogue with the Federal Government to address the impending threat of an indefinite industrial strike. This decision comes after the government extended an invitation to the labor union.
A reliable source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that the NLC has received the government’s invitation and is prepared to attend the meeting. This move reflects the NLC’s commitment to finding solutions to the pressing issues at hand.
A press statement released by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, signed by its Director of Press and Public Relations, conveyed the government’s perspective on the upcoming meeting. The statement revealed that Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Bako Lalong, has once again invited the Nigerian Labour Congress for discussions scheduled for Monday, September 18, 2023.
The statement read, “The Minister, who directed the Department of Trade Unions Services and Industrial Relations to convene a meeting with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, emphasized the importance of these deliberations to avert further disruptions to the nation’s economy.”
Minister Lalong reaffirmed the government’s commitment to engaging with organized labor and addressing their concerns through consultations and negotiations. He emphasized that fostering industrial harmony is pivotal to the realization of the Renewed Hope Agenda under President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
This is not the first time that the Minister has extended an invitation to labor representatives. The statement noted, “It would be recalled that the Minister had invited the two Labour centers for talks to avert the 2-day strike held between 5th and 6th September, but only the TUC showed up for the meeting.”
An official from the NLC, speaking on the impending meeting, stated, “I can confirm to you that we have received the Ministry’s letter and will attend the meeting. NLC is committed to finding a solution to the issues. We hope that the government is sincere enough to be truthful in discussions and finding solutions.”
The official also highlighted the NLC’s long-standing disposition towards negotiations and problem-solving. However, they expressed cautious skepticism, saying, “Experiences have taught us that the government is not always sincere in brokering lasting solutions to the issues. So, immediately we sense insincerity in the government’s approach, we remain vigilant during their meetings.”
The upcoming meeting between the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Federal Government is anticipated to be a critical juncture in the ongoing labour disputes, with both parties facing the challenge of resolving contentious issues to avoid potential disruptions to the nation’s economy.