In a desperate move to abort the planned nationwide strike and mass protest over the recent hike in electricity tariff and petrol pump price scheduled for next Monday, the Federal Government has invited organized labour to a meetingtoday.
The meeting, which will be hosted by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, is scheduled to hold by 3pm at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Recall that the previous meeting between government’s representatives and labour on September 15, ended without any agreement.
One of leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, acknowledged receipt of government’s invitation and confirmed that labour leaders will attend.
He said: “Yes, our leaders received invitation from government for a meeting on Thursday (today). We will attend the meeting because we have made demands. We will attend the meeting to see if our demands will be addressed.”
Both the NLC and its Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, counterpart, have rejected the hike in the pump price of petrol and electricity tariff, demanding their reversal to avoid nationwide strike and mass protest.
While the TUC had earlier given the government a seven-day ultimatum which expired on September 22, to go back to the old prices, the NLC gave September 28 deadline for government to cancel the new increment.
The TUC had Tuesday extended its strike notice to tally with the NLC deadline.
Same Tuesday, the highest decision making organ of NLC, the National Executive Council, NEC, ratified the September 28 national wide indefinite strike and mass protest should government fail to revert to old prices.
It will be recalled that at the NLC NEC meeting held at Labour House, Abuja, NEC ordered the 36 NLC state’s councils and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, to intensify mobilization of workers and other Nigerians, faulting the timing of the increments.
Speaking after the NEC meeting, President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, advised the Federal Government to, in the interest of industrial peace and social order, listen to cries of workers and other suffering Nigerians and rescind the increases, warning that failure to meet the demands would made the planned strike and mass protest inevitable.