The Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress have declared the Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu unfit for negotiation with the union and considering a nationwide strike as an option.
The labour unions made the statement on Tuesday at the meeting with the national Assembly heads.
In attendance are the leaderships of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Joe Ajaero, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Festus Osifo, the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the leadership of the Senate.
The NLC and the Trade Union Congress had taken over the premises of the National Assembly on August 2, protesting the hardship induced on Nigerians by the fuel subsidy removal and the floating of the naira.
However, the National Assembly pledged to address the demands of labour in seven days which elapsed on August 6, 2023.
Ajaero, the NLC boss lamented before the NASS representatives that the Tinubu wage award committee is yet to sit over two months after the removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria.
Ajaero reiterated that Gbajabiamila had failed to sit with the organized labour for a meeting, alleging that he claims to be busy.
The unions said, ”At no time had the Chief of Staff to the president who is very busy called to negotiate or lead negotiations.
“Part of our challenge is the issue of the committee put in place, the committee seems not to be capable, as labor we have done with Negotiation and engagement with the government from the time of Ikaite, as SGF, kingibe, Pius Ayim, and Boss Mustapha
“And that has delayed the issues, even since after our protest, another meeting has not reconvened.”
Ajaero further explained that nothing has been done by the presidency since President Tinubu promised to review workers’ wages.
He said, “We had agreed on wage award, and up till this moment the committee on wage award is yet to sit.
“Although the president promised that he will restructure the mechanism of engagement with government to help things to be treated fast.”
Reacting, the President of the Senate Akpabio commended the Organised Labour for their patience and understanding to assist the government in reshaping the fortunes of the country.
Akpabio told the unions that although Nigeria has saved N1 trillion from the fuel subsidy removal, the administration also inherited a broke country with debt over N30 trillion.
Akpabio assured the aggrieved labour unions of the Federal Government’s partnership to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians.
He also promised of FG’s readiness to partner with the labour unions to proffer lasting solutions to the perennial trade disputes in the country.
Recall that the union had earlier noted that if their demands are not met, they will embark on a nationwide strike.