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: “Labour Unions Disappointed by Government’s Inaction in Meeting on Fuel Subsidy Palliative”

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President Tinubu’s proposed subsidy palliative is intended to alleviate the difficulties faced by Nigerians due to the removal of fuel subsidy. However, the organized labor is unhappy with the government’s approach. The labor unions had scheduled a meeting with government representatives to discuss President Tinubu’s plans, but the government did not attend the meeting, leading the labor unions to accuse the government of deception. The labor unions are planning a nationwide strike on August 2 to protest against the recent increase in the price of petrol. The government claims that progress has been made in the meetings with the labor unions, but the unions remain steadfast in their decision to strike.
President Tinubu’s proposed subsidy palliative aims to alleviate the hardships faced by Nigerians due to the removal of fuel subsidy. However, the organized labor believes that the government is not taking the right approach. Representatives from the labor unions accused the Federal Government of scheduling a meeting that it did not plan to attend. The labor unions had agreed to meet on Friday at the state house to discuss President Tinubu’s planned subsidy palliative and get a brief from the government’s subcommittees on mass transit, compressed natural gas, and cash transfer. This meeting was supposed to draft intervention plans to lessen the effects of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians. The labor union expressed disappointment at the absence of the FG’s delegates on the Presidential Steering Committee on Subsidy Palliatives and claimed that the government was using the meetings to deceive Nigerians. The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, who led the delegation, left the building shortly after entering, stating that the government was unprepared for the meeting. While the Chief of Staff to the President and other government team members waited, the labor delegation faced delays at the State House over clearance issues. Despite the meetings between the Federal Government and the labor unions, the labor unions remained firm in their plan to proceed with a nationwide strike on August 2. The Federal Government argued that it was legally restrained from engaging in the strike, as per the National Industrial Court’s order. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, advised the union to seek other means of negotiation. However, the NLC, in a communiqué, affirmed its decision to reverse all anti-poor policies of the Federal Government and called for nationwide protests to express outrage over the government’s actions and policies. The NLC gave the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum to meet their demands before initiating the nationwide action on August 2. The lack of seriousness and unpreparedness of the Federal Government in addressing the issues related to the fuel price hike was highlighted by members of the NEC. Therefore, the NEC established strategy committees across all states and called on all affiliates, state councils, and civil society to join the protests and demand change from the government.

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