NLC nationwide protest, Ajaero,-NLC president

Why we relaxed indefinite strike — Labour

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In a meeting held earlier on Thursday, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) gave further details about why their joint National Executive Council suspended the indefinite nationwide strike that began on May 3rd.

A communique jointly signed by NLC and TUC Presidents, Comrades Joe Ajaero and Festus Osifo, said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s personal offer to commit to paying Nigerian workers a higher national minimum wage and the need to create an ambiance for the negotiations to continue unhindered are the chief reasons labour decided to “relax the strike.”

The organised labour went on to express hope that the Federal government will commit to a  concrete and acceptable National Minimum Wage and take definitive steps to reverse the electricity tariff hike to back N66/kwh and abolish the discriminatory classification of electricity consumers into Bands.

The statement reads; “Following the successful commencement of the indefinite nationwide strike action initiated by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on June 3, 2024, the National Executive Councils (NEC) of both organizations convened a joint meeting to deliberate on the recent offer from the Federal Government of Nigeria concerning a higher national minimum wage at a meeting which lasted several hours yesterday.

“The NEC also reviewed the government’s position on other critical demands, particularly the reversal of the electricity tariff hike and the cessation of the discriminatory classification of electricity consumers into Bands.

The NEC-in-session further examined the circumstances behind our withdrawal from the Tripartite national minimum wage negotiation process within the context of the behaviour of the federal government towards the exercise and the content of the Understanding reached with organised Labour.

ALSO READ: Strike: ITUC-Africa urges Tinubu to alleviate economic hardship of workers, Nigerian masses

“The NEC critically examined the following key issues:

1. The Federal Government’s proposal to commit to a higher national minimum wage.

2. The ongoing demands for the reversal of the electricity tariff hike back to N66/kwh.

3. The demand for the stoppage of the apartheid classification of electricity consumers into Bands.

4. The reasons for withdrawing from the Tripartite Committee for the Negotiation of the National Minimum Wage.

5. The content of the memorandum of understanding reached with the Federal Government at the meeting of Monday, the 3rd of June, 2024 On the National Minimum Wage:

“The NEC-in-Session acknowledges the personal offer by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; His Excellency Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu to commit to a higher National Minimum Wage above the N60,000 (Sixty thousand Naira) on offer.

“On Electricity Tariff Hike and Classification: The NEC-in-Session is deeply disappointed by the government’s silence and lack of concrete action regarding the reversal of the electricity tariff hike and the abolition of the apartheid classification of electricity consumers into Bands.

“The NEC reaffirms that these issues are critical to alleviating the financial burden on Nigerian workers and the general populace. The electricity tariff hike and discriminatory Band classification remain unacceptable and must be addressed alongside the wage increase.

“On The Reason for Withdrawing from the Wage Setting Process: The NEC-insession frowned at the refusal of the federal government to go beyond the N60,000 (Six thousand Naira) at the ongoing national minimum wage negotiation exercise which compelled our withdrawal.

ALSO READ: Strike: ITUC-Africa urges Tinubu to alleviate economic hardship of workers, Nigerian masses

“On The Agreement with the Federal Government: The NEC-in-session affirms that the federal government has agreed that their offer of N60,000 (Sixty thousand Naira) was not sufficient and has therefore shown commitment to making better Wage offer to Nigerian workers and reaching agreement on the same within one week.”

The communique further said; “In view of the deliberations, the NEC-in-session resolved as follows: There is a greater need to create the right ambience for negotiation to continue unhindered.

The indefinite nationwide strike action is therefore relaxed for One Week from today to allow the Federal Government commit to a concrete and acceptable National Minimum Wage; take definitive steps to reverse the electricity tariff hike back to N66/kwh and abolish the discriminatory classification of electricity consumers into Bands.

“The NLC and TUC National Leadership are mandated to continue to maintain open channels of communication with the Federal Government to negotiate and secure favourable outcomes for Nigerian workers and people.

All affiliate unions and State Councils are therefore directed to Relax the indefinite nationwide strike and return to their respective workplaces immediately.

“The NEC-in-Session expresses profound gratitude to Nigerian workers and the general public for their unwavering support and solidarity in this critical struggle for improved living and working conditions.

The NLC and TUC remain committed to pursuing all necessary actions to protect the rights and welfare of all Nigerian people and workers as we urge all to await further directives while the negotiation continues.”


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