NLC, TUC suspend strike

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have suspended their industrial action for a week.

The industrial action began on Monday, over what the organised labour described as lack of seriousness on the part of the Federal Government regarding their demand for a new minimum wage, and other demands.

TUC president, Festus Osifo, confirmed the decision to suspend the action in Abuja on Tuesday, after a joint extraordinary national executive council meeting of the unions.

“A joint NEC meeting of TUC/NLC has approved to relax the industrial action for one week with immediate effect,” Osifo was quoted as saying, with the TUC chief adding that a communique will be issued later.

Both NLC and TUC downed tools to register their grievances over the hike in electricity tariff and lack of consensus on a new minimum wage.

The development grounded activities in critical sectors of the economy with schools, businesses, hospitals, and airports and offices all shut down. The national grid was also shut down, throwing the nation into darkness.

Labour’s actions followed the expiration of the May 31 deadline for an agreement on a new minimum wage. They have been negotiating with the federal government for several months.

During negotiations which yielded no fruits, labour rejected three government offers, with the latest being ₦60,000 monthly salary. The TUC and the NLC subsequently pulled out of the negotiations insisting on ₦494,000 as the new minimum wage.

However, in a bid to halt the strike, the government and labour leaders held a meeting that spanned into late night on Monday.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) George Akume, Minister of Labour and Employment (State), and Information and National Orientation counterpart, Mohammed Idris, Osifo, and President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, were among the persons present at the meeting.

They reached some resolutions, which include government’s resolve to pay above ₦60,000, and a regular meeting between the parties. It was also resolved “that no worker would be victimized as a result of the industrial action.”

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