HomeCultureCrucial Meeting Looms: OPSN Urges Govt & Labor to Avert Nationwide Strike

Crucial Meeting Looms: OPSN Urges Govt & Labor to Avert Nationwide Strike

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As a crucial meeting between labor union leaders looms tomorrow, the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) is urgently calling on the Federal Government and labor unions to prevent a potentially devastating nationwide strike that could severely impact the country’s socio-economic landscape.

The meeting comes ahead of the deadline for a 21-day ultimatum set to expire on Friday, aimed at compelling the government to address a range of issues that have remained unresolved.

Ongoing negotiations between the government and labor organizations, specifically regarding post-subsidy removal benefits for federal workers, have yet to yield concrete outcomes.

Both parties have been negotiating key demands put forth by the National Labor Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC). These demands encompass wage increases, tax exemptions, and allowances for public sector employees, as well as the procurement of Compressed Natural Gas buses.

Additional sticking points include the release of a N70 billion fund for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the freeing of officials from the National Union of Road Transport Workers held by police, and addressing a crisis within the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, particularly in Lagos.

State affiliates and subsidiary unions of the NLC have already started preparations for what could become a nationwide strike if the 21-day ultimatum, which aims to secure palliatives following the recent removal of fuel subsidies, expires without action.

Previously, labor unions had engaged in a two-day warning strike to emphasize their demands. After the strike, a 21-day ultimatum was issued to the Federal Government to meet these conditions.

The NLC has scheduled an emergency meeting of its National Executive Council for tomorrow. According to a meeting notice dated September 22, NLC’s General Secretary Emmanuel Ugboaja stressed the importance of attendance from union leaders for this virtual meeting.

In a recent statement, OPSN emphasized the country’s precarious economic situation and warned that a nationwide strike would only exacerbate existing difficulties.

The coalition consists of five major business membership organizations, including the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, and the Nigerian Associations of Small and Medium Enterprises and Small Scale Industrialists.

The organization expressed concern that neither the government nor labor unions are adequately considering the impact of their disagreements on Nigeria’s struggling economy and its citizens.

Both parties must innovate in their approach to discussions, OPSN insisted, to avoid holding the economy hostage. The organization urged the government to show good faith by adhering to its promises, and for labor to realistically evaluate its demands in the context of current economic conditions.

OPSN concluded by advocating for collaborative governance and said it hopes to see labor unions extend their demands to include actionable recommendations and realistic timelines, aimed at holding the government accountable and improving the well-being of the nation’s citizens.

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