Leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and their Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, counterparts, on Friday, shunned a meeting called by the Federal Government in a desperate effort to avert the planned nationwide strike from October 3. According to the two labour centres, government’s invitation came late as they had scheduled engagements outside Abuja, the federal capital. According to Vanguard sources, the NLC and its TUC counterpart received the government’s invitation this morning through the ministry of labour and employment.
The invitation letter dated September 29 and cited by Vanguard, was signed on behalf of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, by the Director, Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations, Emmanuel Igbinosun.
The letter titled “Impending labour union strike invitation to a meeting”, read in part: “I bring you greetings from the Honourable Ministers of Labour and Employment.
“I am directed to invite the leadership of the Trade Union Congress Nigeria (TUC) for a meeting with the Chief of Staff to Mr. President on the above subject, scheduled as follows:
“Date: Friday, September 294, 2023; Time: 12 noon. Venue: Aso Villa, Conference Room of the Office of the Chief of Staff to Mr. President.
“Please be assured of the kind regards of the Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment.”
However, in a response to the Minister, the two labour centres in a letter dated September 29, requested for a new date next week.
The letter signed by Emmanuel Ugboaja, NLC’s General Secretary and Nuhu Toro, TUC’s Secretary General, titled “R-impending labour union strike: Invitation to meeting”, read: “We extend our warm regards to you and the entire team at your Ministry.
“We wish to express our sincere regrets for our inability to attend the proposed meeting between us and the Federal Government, scheduled for today the 29th Day of September due to already scheduled engagements our officials have outside Abuja.
“Regrettably, the short notice provided for this meeting has posed significant logistical challenges for the majority of our leadership, rendering their participation unfeasible at this time.