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Meet our demands in two weeks or we go on strike, TUC tells FG

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The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has urged the Federal Government to hasten its plan to provide palliatives for Federal Government workers following the removal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit.

The TUC Also noted that workers were getting more impatient due to the hardship occasioned by the removal of subsidies.

The TUC president, Comrade Festus Osifo, stated this during a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, on Tuesday, September 19, in Abuja.

The meeting was a follow-up to the September 4 meeting called on the initiative of the minister to address the demands of organized labor.

Osifo said workers were facing enormous pressures that were making life very difficult, which made the leadership of the TUC have sleepless nights.

The TUC president said, “Congress was hopeful that between the next two weeks, President Bola Tinubu would have done everything possible to arrive at a conclusion that the workers were eager to hear in order to douse the tension and threat of withdrawal of services.”

Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, said this in a statement before the meeting went into a closed-door session.

“After the meeting, the TUC said it held fruitful discussions and hoped that the government would live up to its promises and responsibility for ensuring the welfare of workers and Nigerians in general,” the statement said.

Lalong said he called the meeting to brief the leadership of the TUC on the efforts made by the federal government to address their grievances.

The minister, in the company of the Minister of State, Nkeiruka Onyeajeocha, told the TUC that after their last meeting, he met with President Bola Tinubu to highlight some of the issues raised by organized labor.

He appealed to the TUC to exercise more patience, explaining that before the President left for the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he was fully briefed and gave further directives on the implementation of issues put before him, particularly when he met with the labor leaders.

Before the meeting went into a closed-door session, the Minister thanked the TUC for accepting to come for the briefing, noting that it showed that they are committed to the Nigerian project and are open to dialogue for greater industrial harmony,” the statement said.

Some of the demands of labor are wage awards, tax exemptions, and allowances to public sector workers; the provision of Compressed Natural Gas buses; the release of modalities for the N70bn for Small and Medium enterprises; and the release of officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers by the police, among others.

Also speaking via his official X handle, the minister said, “I had the privilege of meeting with the leadership of the Trade Union Congress once again, marking the second time in as many weeks. My purpose was to personally update them on the efforts that the Federal Government has been making to address their concerns since our last meeting,” he tweeted.

“In the company of Minister of State Hon. Nkeiruka Onyeajeocha, I spoke to the TUC members, explaining that following our previous meeting, I had a conversation with the President. During this discussion, I emphasized the critical issues raised by the labor union.

“I implored the TUC to exercise patience, sharing that, before the President’s departure for the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he was fully briefed on the matters at hand. Furthermore, he provided clear directives on how to proceed with the issues, especially after his personal interaction with labor leaders.”

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