The Nigeria Labour Congress said on Tuesday that it decided to postpone its statewide strike against the elimination of fuel subsidies because the government had shown a readiness to engage in talks and offer “reasonable palliatives to cushion the effect of its policies.”
The NLC provided the justification in a statement signed by its president, Joe Ajaero and released following its emergency National Executive Council on Tuesday.
“Considering the mood of the socio-polity, last elections and the need to pursue national stability and consequently, the NEC-in-session resolved as follows:
“To commend and applaud the diligence of the congress’ leadership in carrying out the assignment given to it by NEC; to demonstrate to the Federal Government the need to comply with the laws of the land, especially as it concerns obedience to the rulings of the courts and their brazen disregard for the 2023 Appropriation Act,” the statement reads in part.
It further reads, “To, therefore, support and accept the decision of the leadership of Congress to suspend the proposed strike action in compliance with the flawed rulings of the NIC and also allow negotiations to flow freely and enable final agreement during or after the 19th June 2023 negotiation round with the federal government.
“To, however, register in strongest terms its disgust and disapproval with the ruling of the National Industrial Court (NIC) for its continuous weaponisation of the instrument of ex-parte injunction in favour of government against the interests of Nigerian workers in defiance of the position of the Supreme Court on the use of this instrument.
“All Affiliates and State Councils of Congress are hereby directed to suspend further action and mobilisation until the outcome of the final negotiations.
“To commend all affiliates and state councils on their robust mobilisation towards a successful nationwide strike action and to also remain vigilant in case there is a need to continue.”
The strike was suspended after Monday’s meeting between a government team and leaders of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and NLC.
Parties agreed to establish a joint committee to review the proposal for any wage increase and establish a framework and timeline for implementation.
They also consented to review and establish the framework for the completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries, among others.
Parties would meet again on June 19, 2023, to agree on an implementation framework.
Before the announcement, Justice O. Y. Anuwe of the NICN, while ruling on an ex-parte motion by the Federal Government through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), barred the NLC from going on strike.