By Sola Omoniyi, Lagos
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to boycott its meeting with the Federal Government on Monday, October 30, 2023, should the Minister of Labour Simon Lalong attend it.
The President of NLC Comrade Joe Ajaero issued the threat while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja on Sunday after briefing them on the plights of workers in Imo State.
Ajaero criticised Lalong for not being able to establish a cordial relationship with organised labour.
“Hopefully, we may meet tomorrow (Monday) with the Federal Government to see whether the agreement with organised labour on the fuel subsidy removal palliatives was met or not,” he said.
“If that meeting is to hold, it will be without the Minister of Labour and Employment, because we will not be part of any meeting with the Federal Government that the Minister of Labour and Employment will attend.”
Labour unions and the government have been in negotiations over their planned industrial action owing to the removal of fuel subsidies.
During Sunday’s event, Ajaero also threatened to mobilise its members to storm Imo State on Wednesday, November 1.
The NLC chief accused the Imo State Government of violating the rights of the workers in the state.
Claiming Governor Hope Uzodimma neglected their welfare, Ajaero lamented that many of them have died because of the alleged lack of payment of their salaries.
He outlined some of the infractions against workers by the Imo State Governor including the alleged refusal to implement previous agreements especially the accord reached on January 9, 2021, outstanding salary arrears of about 20 months, unjust declaration of workers as ghost workers, declaration of pensioners as ghost workers and unsettled gratuity arrears among others.
According to him, approximately 10,000 pensioners have been wrongly labelled as ghost pensioners resulting in over 22 months of unpaid pensions while about 11,000 workers have been branded by the Imo State Government as ghost workers.
The NLC President also lamented the non-compliance with the national minimum wage by the state government, claiming that Governor Uzodinma has resisted the use of social dialogue and collective bargaining to resolve the issues.