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NLC warning strike: NUBIFIE orders closure of banks, insurance firms

As NLC insists on strike, shuns meeting with labour minister

  • FG begs NLC to suspend planned strike

The National Union of Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) has announced the commencement of a two-day withdrawal from service on September 5th and 6th, 2023.

The union gave this notice in a general circular dated September 2, 2023, jointly signed by Comrade Abakpa Anthony, President, and Mohammed Sheikh, Secretary-General.

According to the circular, the development is a sequel to the communiqué issued after the meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) held on Thursday, August 31, 2023, directing all its members to commence two days’ withdrawal of services as stated above.

NUBIFIE explained that the “directives were imperative to get the needed attention of the government and warn it off its new-found love of meddling in the internal affairs of unions rather than address the punishing economic circumstances we find ourselves in.

“We hereby direct all our organs to comply with this directive by ensuring all our members stay off duty for the two days. Your corporation in this regard will be appreciated”, as stated in the general circular.

NLC insists on a nationwide strike and shuns a meeting with labour minister

The national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress has shunned the last-minute reconciliatory meeting convened by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, to avert the two-day warning strike already declared by the labour centre.

Only the leadership of the Trade Union Congress, led by its President, Festus Osifo, showed up for the meeting slated for 3 p.m. but which started at exactly 5:32 p.m.

Recall that on Friday, the NLC, in a communiqué jointly signed by its national president, Joe Ajaero, and Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, said it decided to embark on a two-day warning strike following what was described as the failure of the Tinubu-led Federal Government to dialogue and engage stakeholders within the organised labour on efforts to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal on Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, on the “poor masses”.

Already, the organised labour in August staged a one-day protest, which grounded activities in major cities across the country.

While listing other reasons why it would mobilize its members for the nationwide shutdown, the NLC accused the police of laying siege at the national headquarters of the National Union of Road Transport Workers; alleged exploitation of the rights of workers in Imo State; interference in trade union matters by the Abia State government; and proposed demolition by the new minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, among others.

Meanwhile, the federal government has appealed to the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to suspend its planned two-day warning strike slated to commence on Tuesday, September 5.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, made the appeal on Monday, September 4, in Abuja.

The minister promised to attend to the contending issues raised by the NLC holistically if given some time to settle into office.

He noted that although the ministry was yet to get a notification of the planned strike as required by law from the NLC, the ministry would be having a meeting with the labour leaders by 3 p.m. today (Monday) with a view to stopping the planned strike.

While expressing worry that the planned action would reverse the gains already made, the minister, who promised never to take labour and Nigerian workers for granted, maintained that the federal government had already initiated some actions to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal and was willing to find solutions to the challenges confronting Nigerians as a result of its policies.

He said: “It has become pertinent to appeal to the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to suspend its intended two-day warning strike, as such action would be detrimental to the gains already being recorded on our course to securing a greater future for Nigerian workers and citizens at large.

“Furthermore, I would request that the Comrade Leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress give this government some time to settle and address the issues on the ground holistically.

“It should be realised that the cabinet of this administration was only recently sworn in by Mr. President, and all cabinet members have hit the ground running by receiving briefings from their MDAs. Therefore, the issues raised by the leadership of the NLC are some issues that I and the Hon. Minister of State for Labour and Employment are being briefed upon. In the next few weeks, we intend to address them holistically.

“Consequently, I use this opportunity to reassure Nigerian workers that this government will never take them for granted nor fail to appreciate their support and understanding. We shall continue to pursue policies aimed at massive employment generation in all sectors of the economy as well as look into the immediate challenges that have emerged from the policies of the government. We cannot do this in an atmosphere devoid of industrial peace.”

Techrectory with Agency Report

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