ON Monday night, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) suspended the indefinite strike scheduled for Tuesday, October 3, for 30 days.
The workers announced the suspension after getting major commitments from the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government.
The ICIR reported how the labour union leaders declared the strike on September 26, following the hardship caused by the subsidy removal from petrol by the Federal Government.
The NLC and TUC presidents Joe Ajaero and Festus Osifo directed all the unions’ affiliate bodies to comply with the planned strike.
The planned strike followed a warning strike by the NLC on September 5 and 6, pressuring Tinubu’s government to implement policies that lessen the pains borne by workers and other Nigerians.
However, the Federal Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the labour leaders on Monday, prompting the workers to suspend the planned action for 30 days.
NLC’s Ajaero and TUC’s Osifo, among others, signed the agreement on behalf of the workers, while Minister of Labour and Employment Simon Lalong, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, and Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, signed for the government.
Below is the memorandum
1. 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.
2. A minimum wage committee shall be inaugurated within one month from the date of this agreement.
3. The Federal Government suspends the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on Diesel for six months beginning from October 2023.
4. The Federal Government accepts to vote N100 billion for the provision of high-capacity CNG buses for mass transit in Nigeria. Provisions are also being made for an initial 55,000 CNG conversion kits to kick start an auto gas conversion programme whilst work is ongoing on state-of-the-art CNG stations nationwide. The rollout aims to commence by November with pilots across 10 campuses nationwide.
5. The Federal Government plans to implement various tax incentive measures for the private sector and the general public.
6. On the leadership crises rocking the NURTW and the purported proscription of RTEAN, the Federal Government commits to handling Labour matters in line with relevant ILO Conventions and Nigerian Labour Acts. A resolution of the ongoing impasse is expected by or before October 13.
7. The issue of outstanding Salaries and Wages of Tertiary Education workers in Federal-owned educational institutions is being referred to Ministry of Labour and Employment for further engagement.
8. The Federal Government commits to pay N25,000 per month for three months starting from October 2023 to 15 million households, including vulnerable pensioners.
9. The Federal Government will increase its initiatives on subsidized distribution of fertilizers to farmers across the country.
10. The Federal Government should urge the State Government through the National Economic Council and Governors Forum to implement wage award for their workers. Similar consideration should also be given to local government and private sector workers.
11. The Federal Government commits to the provision of funds as announced by the President on August 1 broadcast to the Nation for Micro and Small Scale Enterprises. The MSMEs beneficiaries should commit to the principle of decent jobs.
12. A joint visitation will be made to the refineries to ascertain their rehabilitation status.
13. All parties commit to henceforth abide by the dictates of Social dialogue in all our future engagements.
14. The NLC and TUC accept to suspend for 30 days the planned Indefinite Nationwide strike scheduled to begin Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
15. This Memorandum shall be filed with the relevant Court of competent jurisdiction within one (1) week as consent judgment by the Federal Government.