Organized labour suspends nationwide strike for 30 days
The organized Labour in Nigeria has suspended the indefinite strike it planned to begin on Tuesday October 3, 2023.
The strike, which had been called in response to the government’s reluctance to meet the seven-point demands put forth by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).
The Federal Government, recognizing the gravity of the situation, extended an invitation to the organized Labour for a crucial meeting to avert the impending strike.
This meeting, presided over by Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, witnessed the participation of Governors, Ministers, and other government officials.
In a joint communiqué released after the meeting, the union announced its decision to suspend the strike for a period of 30 days. This development comes as a relief to many, as it opens the door for further dialogue and negotiation, offering hope for the amelioration of the workers’ plight.
The communiqué, signed by key figures including NLC President Joe Ajaero, General Secretary Emmanuel Ugboaja, TUC President Festus Osifo, and Secretary General Nuhu Toro, outlined several important outcomes of the meeting.
One notable achievement is the agreement that the Minister of Labour will address the longstanding issue of withheld salaries among university staff.
Furthermore, the Federal Government team, represented by Minister of Labour and Employment Simon Lalong, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Dr. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, and Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris, came to a mutual understanding with the Labour unions.
As part of this understanding, the communiqué stated, “The Federal Government grants a wage award of N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) only to all Federal Government workers beginning from the month of September, pending when a new national minimum wage is expected to have been signed into law.”
Another crucial development addressed in the communiqué is the issue of outstanding salaries and wages for tertiary education workers in federal-owned educational institutions. This matter will be referred to the Ministry of Labour and Employment for further engagement, indicating a commitment to addressing the concerns of workers in this sector.
“The decision to suspend the strike reflects the willingness of both the organized Labour and the Federal Government to prioritize the interests of the Nigerian workforce.
“It is a strategic move that allows for negotiations to continue and for solutions to be found without causing further disruption to the nation.
“In this era of uncertainty and economic challenges, the decision to suspend the strike is a ray of hope for Nigerian workers. The wage award of N35,000 for Federal Government workers is a welcome relief, and it shows that the government recognizes the importance of fair compensation for its workforce.
“Additionally, the commitment to addressing the long-standing issue of withheld salaries among university staff is a positive step towards resolving an issue that has plagued the education sector. This move is likely to bring solace to many dedicated educators who have been struggling with financial uncertainties.
“The communiqué also highlights the importance of open dialogue and negotiation in resolving labor disputes. By suspending the strike and entering into discussions with the government, the organized Labour demonstrates a commitment to finding peaceful and constructive solutions to the challenges faced by workers.
“The suspension of the nationwide strike by organized Labour is a positive development that offers hope and relief to workers across Nigeria.
“It signifies the importance of dialogue and negotiation in resolving labor disputes and demonstrates the commitment of both Labor and the Federal Government to addressing the concerns of the workforce.
“This decision should serve as a model for future labor negotiations and conflict resolutions in the country,” a civil servant, Rayyanu Mohammed said.