Fuel Subsidy: NLC, FG begins meeting, Minister laments effects of strikes on economy

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The Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong says that past industrial actions by labour unions have had adverse effects on the country’s economy.

The Minister announced this in Abuja on Monday, as a meeting with leaders of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) began in an effort to prevent organised labour from embarking on another strike.

He committed to work with workers to meet labour union concerns in a fair and balanced manner.

He appealed to the labour leaders to be realistic and frank in the discussions.

The minister also expressed optimism that the meeting would lead to a resolution that is of national interest.

In his response, the President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, said his team was in the meeting with mixed feelings, whether “something will happen or not,” as many similar meetings in the past never yielded any positive response.

He also noted that the past strikes that the minister referred to were a result of the frustration Nigerian workers faced due to the effects of the hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidies.

Ajaero also noted that not one of the agreements with the FG had been addressed despite a series of meetings that had been held.

He vehemently condemned the invasion of the office of the Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), with some of its leaders arrested and detained.

According to him, that action alone is enough for the NLC to proceed with their planned strike.