The ongoing negotiation between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), and the government is set to continue today, as the nation grapples with the aftermath of protests triggered by the fuel subsidy removal.
The union leaders are scheduled to meet with Representatives of government Tuesday after President Bola Tinubu last week expressed commitment to address crucial issues affecting the workforce and the nation’s economy.
Speaking during a television programme on Monday, the NLC President Joe Ajaero, said that the decision to suspend the protests came after the intervention of the National Assembly and President Tinubu.
“The Senate promised to get back to us and resolve the matter within one week. Just this evening we got a notice from them inviting us for a meeting tomorrow (today).
“We are yet to get the modality on the restructure initiative team, especially the government, and for those that will lead the government team,” Ajaero said.
Thenewsguru.com (TNG) reports that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC, had taken action against the position of the government to file a contempt charge through the industrial court and Ministry of Justice.
The NEC of the NLC gave government until 14th of August to withdraw the summon for contempt or face an industrial action.
In a letter dated 7th August, signed by the Solicitor General of the Federation, Mrs B.E. Jeddy-Agb and addressed to the lead counsel to the NLC, Falana and Falana’s Chambers, the Federal government has withdrawn the charges.
The letter reads in part: “kindly recall the exchange of correspondence between the ministry and your office on the need for compliance with the extant court orders, restraining industrial action of any kind on the part of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress.
“The position of the ministry was informed by the need to safeguard the integrity of the court and prevent avoidable service disruption or damage to public facilities.
“Inspite of these exchanges/interventions, the labour unions on Aug. 2, proceeded with the industrial action through public pretests.
“It is trite that issuance of Form 48 is just the starting point in contempt proceedings which will only crystalize upon the issuance of Form 49 and the consequential committal order.
“The ministry did not proceed further with the contempt proceedings, which would have required the issuance of Form 49 within two days of thc issuance of Form 48.
“It is self-evident that the none-issuance of Form 49 as at Aug. 4, renders the contempt proceedings inchoate. You may therefore wish to advise or guide the labour unions on the practice and procedure of contempt proceedings, particularly to the effect that the issues or concerns raised by NLC in its communique on the proceedings, have been overtaken by events.”
Recall that after meeting with Union leaders last Wednesday 4th August, President Tinubu assured Nigerians that his government would take concrete steps to bring at least one of the moribund refineries in the country back to operation by December.
Additionally, he pledged to expedite an agreement on the wage award for Nigerian workers and expressed intentions to unveil a comprehensive roadmap for the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) alternative, which offers a potential solution to the fuel crisis.
Speaking on the President’s pledge, Ajaero added: “We have decided for a return to a new and reinvigorated dialogue process to allow for full implementation.
“Once again, we thank Nigerians while we wait for the government to fulfill its own part of the understanding as agreed with His Excellency; the President.”
As negotiations resume and discussions continue, the hopes of Nigerians are pinned on the outcome of these talks, with expectations of a resolution that addresses the concerns brought about by the recent fuel subsidy removal and it’s attendant effects.