Labour insists on going ahead with strike, ignores meeting called by federal Government

Labour insists on going ahead with strike, ignores meeting called by federal Government

Hope of the Federal Government averting the planned strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) dimmed yesterday after the unions shunned a last-minute parley with government officials on the issues at stake.

Labour insisted on proceeding with the strike.

It denied claims by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) that the planned strike would amount to violation of a court order.

Counsel to organised labour, Femi Falana (SAN), advised government to reopen negotiation with his clients while President Bola Tinubu and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday appealed to labour to reconsider its position and shelve the planned action “in the interest of the masses.”

The federal authorities had called an emergency meeting yesterday with representatives of labour to sort out their differences.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, and Labour and Employment Minister, Simon Lalong, were supposed to lead the FG delegation, only for labour to stay away.

Lalong was sighted in the CoS’s office in preparation for the meeting up till about 5:30pm while the expected Labour leaders were nowhere to be found.

Sources close to the office of the Chief of Staff said the meeting had been rescheduled for this weekend.

One of the sources said: “They had to disperse since the NLC and TUC people didn’t show up. There must have been a reason and I believe they would have communicated their reasons to those waiting for them.

“I learned though that the meeting has been rescheduled for sometime during the weekend, but I don’t know when precisely.”

Labour had accused government of lack of seriousness, saying its planned strike action is on account of the current economic downturn.

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