NLC Shelves Planned Strike After Aso Rock Meeting

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has suspended its planned strike over the hike in fuel price as a result of subsidy removal.

The union had mobilised for a nationwide strike, asking the Federal Government to revert to the old rate of N197 to prevent the strike.

But government had filed a suit to prevent the strike and the court ordered NLC not to go on strike.

News of the court order broke while government representatives and NLC officials were at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, for continued discussions after initial deadlock.

At the end of the meeting, NLC announced that some measures had been put in place and an agreement was reached for the strike not to go on as planned.

This was contained in a communique signed by TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifo, Secretary General, Nuhu Toro, NLC President, Joseph Ajaero, Secretary General, Emmanuel Ugboaja, Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ms Kachollom Daju.
Reading out the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, Gbajabiamila, who led the government side, said seven resolutions were reached to address the situation.

He said three agreements were reached including the suspension of the planned nationwide strike, scheduled to take off on Wednesday and the need for the negotiation teams to reconvene on June 19, 2023 to agree on the implementation of the frameworks.

According to the communique, the agreement are that “the NLC to suspend the notice of strike forthwith to enable further consultations.

“The TUC and the NLC to continue the ongoing engagements with the Federal Government and secure closure on the resolutions above.

“The Labour Centers and the Federal Government to meet on June 19, 2023, to agree on an implementation framework”, it said.

The communique further read “following the engagements between the Federal Government, TUC and the NLC, with the intervention of the Speaker, House of Representatives to resolve the disputes that arose from the withdrawal of subsidy on PMS, the following resolutions were reached:

“The Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC to establish a joint committee to review the proposal for any wage increase or award and establish a framework and timeline for implementation.

“The Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC to review World Bank Financed Cash transfer scheme and propose inclusion of low-income earners in the program.

“The Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC to revive the CNG conversion program earlier agreed with Labor centers in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing.

“The Labour centers and the Federal Government to review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation.

“The Labour centers and the Federal Government to review and establish the framework for completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries.

“The Federal Government to provide a framework for the maintenance of roads and expansion of rail networks across the country.

“All other demands submitted by the TUC to the Federal Government will be assessed by the joint committee.”

This is the third meeting between Labour leaders and the Federal Government since the pump price of fuel was reviewed upwards.

The first meeting held on Wednesday and it ended in deadlock.

On Sunday, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) met with government representatives at Aso Rock.

On Monday, Joe Ajaero led NLC officials to the meeting, but TUC President, Festus Osifo, and his men later joined.

When the meeting went on recess to allow for consultations with the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC, Ajaero told reporters that he was unaware of any order issued by the Industrial Court, restraining the union from proceeding with an indefinite nationwide strike.

Ajaero, who said both sides (government and Labour) had been attempting to woo each other, however said there was no need for government to use underhand tactics.

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