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[UPDATED] Organised Labour Suspends Strike

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

FILES: Labour leaders Festus Osifo (second left) and Joe Ajaero (second right) at the 2024 Workers’ Day in Abuja

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have suspended their industrial action – over a lack of consensus on a new minimum wage and the hike in electricity tariff  – for one week.

The TUC president Festus Osifo confirmed this 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 told Channels Television.

A communique will be issued shortly, the labour chief said.

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

The development ground activities in critical sectors of the economy with schools, businesses, hospitals, and airports shut. 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 locked in negotiations with the Federal Government. 

During the failed talks with the government, labour rejected three government offers, the latest being ₦60,000. The TUC and the NLC subsequently pulled out of negotiations, insisting on ₦494,000 as the new minimum wage.

But in a bid to halt the strike, the Federal Government and the labour leaders held an hours-long meeting that dovetailed into the night.

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

At the end of the parley, though labour said NLC and TUC would meet to decide the next action, they reached some resolutions including the government’s resolve to pay above ₦60,000, and a regular meeting between the parties. 

They also resolved “that no worker would be victimized as a result of the industrial action”.

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