Nigerian Government vs Labour Unions Confrontation: OPSN Calls for Truce to Avert Economic Crisis

The Organized Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) has reiterated its call for the Federal Government and Labour Unions to forstal the looming disruption of socioeconomic activities in the country through dialogue.

A statement jointly signed by the five component business organizations, expressed deep concerns over the impending protest and the likely consequences for the welbeing of the masses.

The OPSN comprises: Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA); Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA)…

The Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI).

According to the statement, the nation’s economy cannot afford a nationwide strike at this time more so as the major economic indicies are not looking good.

The statement read in part, “We have keenly watched the back and forth consultations between the Government on the one hand and the National Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) on the other.

“0It is evident that the series of consultations have not yielded positive results and the latter has resolved, in one way or the other, to go ahead with the protest/strike.

“We are worried that adequate consideration is not given to the dire situation of the economy and the devastating/disruptive impact that a nationwide strike will have on the country at this time.

“The government and labour need to understand that our economy is being de-marketed and the livelihood of the average Nigerian is being diminished by these incessant bickering.

“One is beginning to wonder if the wellbeing of more than 200 million Nigerians is being factored into their negotiations.

“While recognizing the right of the Labour Union to pursue the welfare of its members, we continue to implore the Government to employ its best endeavours to reengage the leadership of the Unions…

“And find an amicable ground to avert the imminent disruption in business activities that will attend the protest and nationwide strike.

“We opine that adequate consideration should be given to the grim state of the economy and the possible unintended consequences of social unrest that may result from the protests.”

The OPSN urged its members to be careful in their business operations and to make contingency plans as the group continues to meditate in the crisis.

The statement called for conversations as to how the two contending parties can amicably resolve their issues without disrupting business activities and creating hardship for the masses.

“There should be some innovation around how the conversation between the government and labour will not always end up in holding the economy hostage.

“The unintended consequence on the fortune of the average business and people of Nigeria is unwarranted and becoming too high.

“Government should demonstrate good faith in keeping to its promises during the negotiations with labour and abstain from making promises they cannot or do not intend to keep.

“On the other hand, labour should do a realistic assessment of its demands, within the context of prevailing economic realities and possibilities, while going the extra mile to indicate how its demands could be met.

” We look forward to a time that labour will extend the scope of its demands to include recommendations on how government could meet those demands, with implementation strategies and realistic timelines.

“There appears to be a general consensus by government and labour, and the generality of Nigerian on the need to assuage the hardship occasioned by recent government economic measures.

“It behooves the government to advance the frontiers of this consensus to chart an agreeable roadmap and enable concrete programmes that will bring relief to the workers and Nigerians.

“Governance is a collective effort and all the segments of the society should work with government to create a conducive atmosphere for businesses to thrive and realistically hold government accountable for the improvement of the wellbeing of Nigerians.” The OPSN said.

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