Labour Suspends Planned Strike for 30 Days

The organised Labour Monday night, agreed to suspend its 30-day indefinite strike planned to start on Tuesday.

The resolution followed over five hours of deliberations between the Federal Government and Labour at the Chief of Staff Conference Room of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

This is as Labour signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the FG which upheld earlier promises the government made and new deliverables, some of which are to be achieved in 30 days.

Announcing the outcome of the meeting to State House correspondents, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, said, “The NLC and TUC accept to suspend for 30 days the planned Indefinite Nationwide strike scheduled to begin, Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023.”

Part of the resolutions reached was that a minimum wage committee shall be inaugurated within one month from the date of the agreement.

The FG also agreed to vote N100bn for the provision of high-capacity Compressed Natural Gas buses for mass transit in Nigeria, Lalong revealed.

He noted that provisions were also being made for initial 55,000 CNG conversion kits to kickstart an auto gas conversion programme, whilst work was ongoing on the state-of-the-art CNG stations nationwide.

“The rollout aims to commence by November with pilots across 10 campuses nationwide,” the minister noted.

The Federal Government, according to Lalong, also planned to implement various tax incentive measures for the private sector and the general public.

The Federal Government, he added, also upheld its earlier approval of a wage award of N35,000 only to all Federal Government workers beginning in September pending when a new national minimum wage was expected to have been signed into law.

However, it urged state governments through the National Economic Council and Nigerian Governors’ Forum to implement wage awards for their workers, the minister said.

“Similar consideration should also be given to local governments and private sector workers,” the memorandum read.

On the leadership crisis rocking the National Union of Road Transport Workers and the purported proscription of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, the Federal Government committed to handling labour matters in line with relevant International Labour Organisation Conventions and Nigerian Labour Acts, adding that a resolution of the ongoing impasse is expected by or before October 13.

The issue of outstanding salaries and wages of tertiary education workers in Federal Government-owned educational institutions is being referred to the Ministry of Labour and Employment for further engagement while the Federal Government promised to increase its initiatives on subsidised distribution of fertilisers to farmers across the country.

Lalong also noted that the FG vowed to take a joint visitation to the refineries to ascertain their rehabilitation status.

“All parties commit to henceforth abide by the dictates of social dialogue in all our future engagements,” he said.

Signatories to the MoU included the NLC president, Joe Ajaero; President, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Festus Osifo; TUC’s Secretary-General, Nuhu Toro.

On the FG’s side, the signatories include the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong; Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha and the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris.

Meanwhile, reacting to the development, Ajaero threatened to revisit the strike option if the agreements were not implemented.

Asked if the agreements applied to the states, he said the fuel subsidy removal that informed Labour’s action affected all Nigerians, including those in the states and the private sector.