Moved by the plights of Nigerians since the removal of fuel subsidy, the organised Labour has continued to put the government on its toes through the union’s round-the-clock agitation.
The most recent of the agitations being threats by the National Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to embark on an indefinite strike should the Federal Government fail to meet its demands at the end of the ultimatum which will expire on October 3.
A die-minute move by the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government may, however, change the tide of the planned civil disobedience by the union.
In his presidential broadcast to mark the country’s 63rd Independence anniversary on Sunday, President Tinubu announced a N25,000 provisional wage award for low-grade workers to cushion the effect of the removal of the petrol subsidy.
The president said, “Based on our talks with labour, business and other stakeholders, we are introducing a provisional wage increment to enhance the federal minimum wage without causing undue inflation. For the next six months, the average low-grade worker shall receive an additional Twenty-Five Thousand naira per month.
“To ensure better grassroots development, we set up an Infrastructure Support Fund for states to invest in critical areas. States have already received funds to provide relief packages against the impact of rising food and other prices.
“Commencing this month, the social safety net is being extended through the expansion of cash transfer programs to an additional 15 million vulnerable households.”
Also, a virtual meeting between the federal government and the unions ended on an inconclusive note, the two labour centres are to consult with their National Executive Council over the new proposal thrown on the table by the government.
The Chief of Staff to the President and leader of the government team, Femi Gbajabiamila, after hours of horse-trading, announced that Tinubu had accepted organised labour’s demand that the wage award would be across the board.
But could the negotiations influence the next move of the union?