The Trade Union Congress (TUC) Sunday asked the Federal Government to revert to the old petrol pump price of N194 perlitre while negotiations continue over the recent increase of between N488 and N557 perlitre occasioned by the removal of subsidy.
The TUC also asked the government to increase the minimum wage to cushion the effect of the petrol subsidy removal.
The demands were made at the reconvened meeting with the government, held at the State House in Abuja Sunday evening.
The TUC also demanded tax holidays for categories of people as well as revert to the status quo as negotiations continue.
The spokesman for the government’s delegation to the meeting, Dele Alake, told reporters after the meeting that most of the demands “are not impracticable” and would be presented to President Bola Tinubu whose decisions will be reverted to labour leaders at another negotiation fixed for Tuesday.
He said the labour’s demand that the petrol price be reversed pending the conclusion of negotiations, Alake said that decision would likely be taken tomorrow when both sides meet.
Although the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress was absent at the meeting, Alake said negotiations would continue with all labour unions and stakeholders.
“But those demands we can announce to Nigerians that a lot of the items on the list are not impracticable. What we need to do is to study the numbers very well. Then, we have asked the TUC to also give us a leeway to consult very exhaustively and reconvene on Tuesday to actually look at the numbers, viability, and practicability of all the items that have been presented to us.”
He said Tinubu would likely constitute a tripartite committee that would include the states, the labour and the private sector to study all the dynamics of a wage increase in percentages, the numbers and the categories that will be affected.
Asked if the team was also negotiating with the NLC, Alake said, “No. We are not. But we are making efforts to reach NLC. We all agreed that we are going to meet here but again, in this game there are dynamics. Sometimes, they could be meeting with their own executives and not able to meet with us, or they could want to postpone or they have not actually articulated their list of demands as the TUC.
“But we cannot second guess why they are not here. But efforts are being made to reach them, we are not isolating them at all.”
He said the meeting did not discuss the claim by one of Tinubu’s spokesmen, Bayo Onanuga’s claim that the NLC was working for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
TUC President, Festus Osifo, said some progress had been made with the negotiations, so the union would brief its members ahead of tomorrow’s meeting.
“As will recall that we were all here on Wednesday last week and at the meeting, the government gave us their position and told us the reason why they did what they did, but on our part, we did not agree with them. So they presented some of the things they considered as palliatives to us, that we should consider them in the meeting, but we told them no, that we cannot consider them in that meeting, that we’re going back to call our respective organs.