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Why we relaxed strike for some days — Labour
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Why we relaxed strike for some days — Labour

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Announcing yesterday the suspension of the nationwide strike that commenced Monday, in a communiqué at the end of their joint National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Abuja, President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, and its TUC counterpart, Festus Osifo, gave insight into why labour suspended the indefinite nationwide strike yesterday

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

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According to the communiqué, the NEC-in-session equally examined the circumstances behind organised labour’s 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 labour.

The communiqué informed that the NEC critically examined the following key issues: The Federal Government’s proposal to commit to a higher national minimum wage; the ongoing demands for the reversal of the electricity tariff hike back to N66/kwh; and the demand for stoppage of the apartheid classification of electricity consumers into bands.

Members of NEC also x-rayed reasons for withdrawing from the Tripartite Committee for the Negotiation of the National Minimum Wage, the content of the memorandum of understanding reached with the Federal Government at the meeting of Monday, June 3, 2024.

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The communiqué read: “On the National Minimum Wage, the NEC-in-Session acknowledges the personal offer by the President Tinubu to commit to a higher National Minimum Wage above the N60,000 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 reversal of 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-in-session frowned on the refusal of the Federal Government to go beyond N60,000 at the ongoing national minimum wage negotiation which compelled our withdrawal.

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“On the agreement with the Federal Government, the NEC-in-session affirms that the Federal Government has agreed that the offer of N60,000 was not sufficient and has, therefore, shown commitment to making better wage offer to Nigerian workers and reaching agreement on same within one week.

“In view of the deliberations, the NEC-in-session resolved as follows that there is a greater need to create the right ambience for negotiation to continue unhindered.

‘’The indefinite nationwide strike is, therefore, relaxed for one week from today (yesterday) 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.

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“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.”

Vanguard


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