Nigeria Seeks Labour Congress’ Cooperation

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (right) presenting copies of the ministry's newsletter, "Labour News" to the President, Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero during her visit to the NLC in Abuja.

ABUJA, Nigeria – Mediaage NG News – The Nigerian government has solicited the support of the country’s labour congress in promoting workers’ welfare and national productivity.

The government said it needed the cooperation of Labour to create the wealth with which to sustain Nigerian workers.

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Since the removal of fuel subsidy, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has demanded for increase in minimum wage and other amenities to soften the hardship caused as a result. It has resulted in warning strike where the NLC threatened to ask all workers to stay at home.

“We will partner with you to ensure that Nigerian workers are satisfied. I am sure you will cooperate with the government to make sure our economy improves, Minister of Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha said in Abuja when she paid a visit to the President and leadership of the NLC, as part of strategy to mobilise critical stakeholders to align with government’s agenda in the Labour sector.

“Each time you embark on strike, the Nigerian economy goes down, and we incur a lot of losses”, she said.

She said trade unions should not see strike as a last resort in seeking resolution to trade disputes, pushing for the fulfilment of agreement, or drawing the attention of government to the plight of workers and citizens.

While revealing that without the cooperation of the Labour union, who are the workers’ representatives, it would be difficult for the government to better the lives of Nigerian workers, Onyejeocha said government’s interest and readiness to work with labour unions to promote the wellbeing of workers, as well as boost national productivity, is assured.

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“Government is interested in the welfare of Nigerian workers. We are interested in their health and the environment in which they work. We are also interested in the wages they earn”, the Minister said.

NLC president, Comrade Joe Ajaero said the Minister’s visit showed care for Nigerian workers, as well as commitment to collaboration with the NLC. He promised that the Congress will always work together with government in the interest of the workers.

However, he said the government should desist from violating Trade Union rights, and defaulting on agreements reached with Labour, as such actions brew trust gaps.

He urged the Minister to push for the clearing of the backlog of agreements reached with the government, as further proof of commitment to workers’ wellbeing.

He also explained that they were not in the habit of rushing into strikes, and only resorted to them as the last option.

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