Following a deal with the Federal Government, Organised Labour last night postponed its intended one-month statewide strike. The deal was achieved quite late at night, even if the details of the Memorandum of Understanding suspending the strike were vague at the time of this publication.
In order to find common ground and prevent the planned strike by organised labour to press the government to address the hardship and anguish of Nigerians brought on by the termination of the petrol subsidy, the conference was reconvened yesterday.
The National Executive Councils, or NECs, of the TUC and the NLC met separately earlier yesterday to discuss the offers made by the Federal Government on Sunday.
News media learned that the NLC and TUC leaders established a committee to harmonise their resolutions in order to find common ground following the separate NEC meeting.
The government team received the joint resolution from the NLC and TUC around 5:00 p.m., according to the sources.
The conference did not resume until 8.15 p.m., much to the disappointment of the union officials who had told news men. Remember that after his initial offer of N25,000 for the typical low-grade worker to labour for six months was rejected, President Bola Tinubu bowed in to the labour movement’s demand for an interim salary award of N35,000 on Sunday evening.Instead, unions asked that the salary award be uniform across the board and last until the implementation of a new minimum wage that is anticipated to be agreed next year.
A statement issued by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris explained that some of the resolutions reached at the Sunday meeting were that, “the issues in dispute can only be resolved when workers are at work and not when they are on strike.
“Labour unions argued for higher wage awards and the Federal Government Team promised to present Labour’s request to President Bola Tinubu for further consideration.
“A sub-committee to be constituted to work out the details of the implementation of all items for consideration regarding government interventions to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.
“The lingering matter of Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State needs to be addressed urgently and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who participated virtually, pledged to resolve the matter.
“NLC and TUC will consider the offers by the Federal Government with a view to suspending the planned strike to allow for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions above”, the statement said.
The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, his TUC counterpart, Festus Osifo, the NLC General Secretary, Emma Ugbaja, and the TUC Secretary General, Nuhu Toro are among the members of the organised labour delegation in attendance.
The Minister of State for Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejecha, the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, and the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, make up the government team.