Following the removal of fuel subsidy, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has given the Federal Government another week to act on its demands or risk an industrial action.
TUC President, Festus Osifo, made this known to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, after a closed-door meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, and the Minister of State, Nkeiruka Onyeajeocha.
He said the issues to be addressed included wage awards for federal civil servants, tax exemption for some categories of workers, as well as setting up structures for the effective implementation of the palliatives from the Federal Government.
Osifo stated that both parties reached an agreement to allow the government to attend to their demands within two weeks in total after the union gave a week ultimatum last week, or it would embark on a nationwide strike.
The TUC leader said workers were getting more impatient due to the hardship occasioned by the removal of subsidy and wanted definite pronouncements from President Bola Tinubu’s administration on its demands.
He said, “Congress was hopeful that between the next two weeks, President Bola Tinubu would have done everything possible to arrive at a conclusion which the workers are eager to hear in order to douse the tension and threat for withdrawal of services.”
In his remark, Lalong said he called the meeting to brief the leadership of the TUC on the efforts made by the federal government to address their grievances.
The minister told the TUC that after their last meeting, he met with President Bola Tinubu to highlight some of the issues raised by organised labour.
He appealed to the TUC to exercise more patience, explaining that before the President left for the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he was fully briefed and gave further directives on the implementation of issues put before him, particularly when he met with the labour leaders.
The labour minister, therefore, assured the union that the Federal Government was making efforts to address their concerns and thanked them for accepting to come for the briefing.
Lalong noted that it showed that the TUC leaders are committed to the Nigerian project and are open to dialogue for greater industrial harmony.